Rebecca Wenner

On Thursday, October 15, 2020, Rebecca Wenner passed away at the age of 52 at home surrounded by family. 

Rebecca was born on August 29, 1968 in Olathe, Kansas. She grew up in Chanute, Kansas and graduated from Chanute High School. She attended the University of Kansas where she got a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Environmental Science and Biology. She began working as an Environmental Scientist early in the environmental movement, and dedicated her life to public service through the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Environmental Protection Agency.  

After college Rebecca briefly married, during which time she had her daughter Anna Wenner. She later moved to Topeka where she raised Anna and her niece, Emily Alden, alongside her sister and mother. When asked how many children she had, Rebecca often jokingly said that she had “one and a half” daughters because of how important Emily was in her life. Rebecca was heavily involved in her children’s school, church, and 4-H activities and was known for bringing delicious cookies as treats whenever possible.  

Rebecca was an active volunteer with 4-H where she was everything from a club leader to a dog trainer, and she was widely known and loved throughout the state of Kansas. She was also a Sunday School and Bible School teacher at First Christian Church in Topeka where she loved to work with kids.

Even before being diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer in 2018, Rebecca always had a love of life. She looked forward to every birthday and never took a moment for granted. She was an avid traveler, especially to national parks, and her favorite place in the world was Yellowstone National Park. She described her trips with her family and friends as her best memories, as well as her role as a mom. Her love of pandas and the color purple was exceeded only by her love of her family and friends. Near the end of her time, Rebecca said that she wanted everyone she loved to know how much they meant to her and how much she appreciated them being in her life.      

Rebecca is survived by her daughter (Anna Wenner), her mother (Sondra Alden), her sister (Evelyn Alden), her brother (John Alden), her sister-in-law (Debbie Alden), her nephew (John Alden) and her nieces (Jamie Alden and Emily Alden). Rebecca was a dedicated mother, daughter, sister, aunt, and friend, and she will be greatly missed by all who knew her. 


A memorial will be held in Rebecca’s honor on Tuesday, October 20, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. 

Due to COVID-19, the funeral will be streamed online for any who would like to attend.   Those who wish to watch the service virtually can do so on the Overland Park Christian Facebook page, or on the Overland Park Christian website.  Please direct any questions in regards to the live stream to the church.


In lieu of flowers, Rebecca has asked that donations be made to Yellowstone Forever to help future generations enjoy her favorite national park. (Please see the following link for more information: 



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Posted in Kansas City Obituaries, Obituaries | on Saturday, Oct. 17th 2020 | 13 Comments »

13 Comments on “Rebecca Wenner”

  1. Carrie Ridley Says:

    Sending love and healing. Rebecca is remembered fondly for her love of life and wish to protect the environment in which it flourishes.

  2. Lori Wilson Says:

    I am deeply saddened by Rebecca’s passing! She was always so nice and kind and had a good sense of humor!! My thoughts and prayers are with her friends and family during this time!! The Lord definitely gained an angel!!

  3. Bill Bider Says:

    Anna, I knew your Mom well and was greatly saddened to hear the news of her passing. She worked for me at KDHE for many years and was one of the best, most dependable workers we ever had in the Bureau of Waste Management. She was a great teacher and trainer of people internally and within the regulated community. I truly appreciated all she ever did. I lost my wife of 40 years to breast cancer in April of this year. We both lost people we loved very much but we can rejoice in all the blessings they brought into our lives and the precious memories we now hold on to. Finally, your Mom made the best chocolate chip cookies and she generously brought big containers of them to work often. I loved them.

    Bill Bider
    BWM Director

  4. Tim Evans Says:

    I wish I was able to eloquently express how much Rebecca means to me and how much I will miss her. Losing her is a huge blow.
    My heart goes out to Anna and the rest of Rebecca’s family.

  5. Andrew Huff Says:

    Anna, sorry for the loss of your mom. She was a kind and generous woman.

  6. Erik Griffith Says:

    I love you, Rebecca. The world was a better place because you were in it. I miss you but I’ll see you again someday.


  7. Chris & Greg Malmgren Says:

    We didn’t get to see Rebecca often enough, but always enjoyed the times we did get to see her. Greg and Rebecca always had a lot of environmental things to catch up on. We are so sorry for your loss and will miss her.

  8. Fatima Ndiaye Says:

    My condolences to Rebecca’s family. She was a kind, professional and a dedicated public servant. We will really missed her at EPA. My prayers and thoughts are with you.

    Fatima Ndiaye
    EPA – Region 7
    Lenexa, Kansas

  9. Perry Piper Says:

    Heard the sad news of Rebecca’s passing, my condolences to Rebecca’s family and may God bless and comfort you during this time. Rebecca gave me my 1st job at the State w/KDHE and I’m very thankful for that, how helpful she was and how nice of a boss she was. She made the best chocolate chip cookies and sweet treats at Christmas time. She was always willing to share and listen to me reagarding life, kids and 4-H. She will truly be missed…..

  10. Denise Simon Says:

    Thoughts and prayers.
    Anna, you probably don’t remember meeting me, but I met you at the state fair when you were showing your dog. Your mother was so proud. I worked with her for many years and was amazed at her knowledge.
    May the Lord’s love comfort you and your family at this time.
    Denise Simon
    former KDHE inspector

  11. Kris Hicks Says:

    It is incredibly sad to lose Rebecca in this world. She was highly admired for her work at KDHE and she was always on track with her mission in life. Anna, nothing will bring her back but if you close your eyes and rest in the loving embrace of your extended family, maybe the memories will get you through to your new normal as best you can. Prayers for God’s grace.

  12. Pat Gilliland Says:

    So sorry to hear this. She was a great lady and I’m sure you all will miss her a lot. Prayers for you all.

  13. Laura Routh Says:

    I worked with Rebecca for a decade, at KDHE. She was the consummate public servant, and took her role as a protector of the environment and public health very seriously. I admired her fortitude and discipline as a civil servant. She was a tremendous asset to the State of Kansas. She always spoke fondly of her daughter. And her family. I am sorry to learn of her passing. Deepest condolences and respect.

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