Col. Emil Wengel, 1921-2010

Funeral will take place June 11 at Arlington National Cemetary
SSN Staff  - 
Wednesday, April 7, 2010

IRVING, Texas—ESA today announced that well-known security industry veteran Col. Emil Wengel died on March 27, 2010. His funeral will take place on June 11 at 9:00 a.m. at Arlington Cemetery in Arlington, Va., with full military honors.

Wengel served on ESA’s board of directors and as chairman of the government relations committee for many years, continuing his involvement on the committee until his death. He was awarded the Sarah E. Jackson Memorial award in 1994 and the Morris F. Weinstock Person of the Year award in 1995.  He served as president of the Virginia Burglar and Fire Alarm Association (now ESA-VA) for several terms and on the Virginia Private Security Services Advisory Board.  He was a leader in the successful effort to bring alarm industry regulation to Virginia.

Born in Oshkosh, Neb. on October 14, 1921, Wengel received a B.A. from Wisconsin Art Academy, part of the University of Wisconsin, in 1941. He joined the United States Air Force in 1943, where he had a long and celebrated career including serving as the Air Force's public information officer, pilot for the commander, U.S. ambassador to Korea, and the president of Korea, and military advisor to the assistant secretary of defense (public affairs).

He also served as Department of Defense on-scene public affairs officer for Operation Homecoming, welcoming home returning POW fighter pilots from Vietnam. As such, he made eight trips to Hanoi and one to Hong Kong to receive the POWs. He retired from the Air Force in March, 1974.

In 1967, he founded Wengel Electronics, Inc. which initially provided telephone answering machines, and later expanded into security.

Wengel was predeceased by his parents, Joseph Wengel and Emily McDonald, and by first wife Myrtle (Tracy) Dickman Wengel in 2003. He is survived by his wife, Olive C. Wengel of Strasburg, Va., and his children Carolyn J. Mikeska of Annandale, Va., Leslie E. Wengel (Patricia) of Gilbert, Arizona, Robert E. Wengel (Gloria) of Haskell, Texas, and Stephanie K. Watson (David) of Haymarket, Va.