Morris teacher, husband killed while riding bicycles

Karen Jordan Image
Wednesday, June 22, 2016
Morris teacher, husband killed while bicycling
Janice Wendling, a Morris teacher, and her husband, Mark, were killed Tuesday.

MORRIS, Ill. (WLS) -- A middle school teacher in Morris School District 54 was mourned Wednesday after she was struck and killed while riding her bicycle with her husband.

Janice Wendling taught 7th and 8th grade math at Shabbona Middle School for several years.

"It's a piece of us that's missing because she was an integral part of education in District 54 for the last 15 years," said Denise Bach, a fellow teacher.

Wendling and her husband, Mark Wendling, were riding bikes Tuesday evening on a stretch of Old Stage Road when they were hit from behind by an SUV. Mark Wendling was also killed.

The SUV was driven by a 16-year-old boy who is one of Janice Wendling's former students. He was cited for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident.

Their friends said the couple starting cycling together as a way to get fit and had been training for a fundraising bike ride this weekend in Dekalb.

Janice Wendling was being remembered as a dedicated teacher who gave so much of herself to friends and students.

"She'd be the first one at Shabbona in the morning and the last one to leave at night," said teacher Dawn Wren.

The couple's death is making a big impact on a small community where they are being remembered for their strong faith and Janice Wendling's dedication to the Chicago Cubs.

"She was a person who everybody loved and she's just an exceptional lady," said Michael Wright, a retired superintendent who worked with her.