Paul “Shakey” Wensink
November 5, 1929 – November 21, 2020
Paul Harold “Shakey” Wensink, 91, of Deshler, Ohio passed away Saturday, November 21, 2020 at Wood Haven Health Care, Bowling Green, Ohio.
He was born November 5, 1929 in his home in rural Deshler, Wood County, Ohio to the late William and Bessie (Channel) Wensink.
On July 18, 1952 he married Joyce (Jimison) Wensink and she survives. He is also survived by children, Randy (Deb) Wensink, Napoleon, Ohio; Ray (Annette) Wensink, Napoleon; Joe (Meir) Wensink, Orange Park, Florida; Kaylene (Tom) Wensink-Stevens, Vista, California; 8 grandchildren; 5 step grandchildren; 12 great grandchildren; 9 step great grandchildren; 1 great great grandchild; 2 step great great grandchildren; and a sister, Betty Wilhelm.
He was preceded in death by a daughter, Sharon Huff; a granddaughter, Charity Hummel; sisters, Frances Routzon; Helen Dibling and brothers, William “Bill” Wensink and Don Wensink.
Shakey graduated from Jackson Township High School and was the owner of the former local gas and service stations: Pure Oil, Wensink Sunoco and Wensink Motor Sales.
What Shakey was most known for was his career as a Race Car Driver. From 1955-1978, he raced throughout the country in the MARC (Midwest Association for Race Cars) which is now the ARCA (Automobile Racing Club of America). Before the popularity of NASCAR, this was the style of racing where cars were worked on during the week in your hometown and a racetrack was found for the weekend. The circuit proved to be and still remains a grooming ground for future NASCAR drivers. Shakey had many successful seasons and was named Rookie of the Year in 1958. His memoirs helped write the book “50 Years of ARCA Racing”. He also participated in numerous USAC and NASCAR events.
He recalls relationships with the founder John Marcum and racing legends Iggy Katona and Benny Parsons. In a small town like Deshler, he had a host of local friends and family members that played a role in his career. Whether they were working on a car, revving the engines during the late hours or pooling finances to get the right equipment, Shakey was humble and would give credit to many people before taking it for himself. His older brother Don and younger brother Bill, would introduce him to racing, even if he had to hide in the trunk of their cars to get to the track. Men like Kenny Kitchen, Tommy Smith, Walt Mitchell, Paul Hoops, Norm Myers, Willie Schwiebert, Hoppy Hartman, Rich Yarnell and Red Dingledine; all precede him in death and assisted him along the way. He appreciated how late local artist, DuWayne Rickerd would paint all his cars with the catch phrase: “The faster I go the behinder I get”. He fondly recalls his young employee and crew member Dave Petersen, who at the time would either stay back to operate his stations or get to go along as one of the youngest crew members at the track. After his racing days were over, his nephew, Ron and friends would see that Shakey attended a local race or event and if not, he remained an enthusiast at home. He would keep three televisions to capture all the racing one could watch. The stories and legends of Shakey and his racing career remain in his family and all those that witnessed this man around the many turns of his life.
Per his wishes, services will be private for the family and Shakey will be laid to rest at Woodlawn Cemetery, Deshler, Ohio. A celebration of life will be held and announced at a later date.
Memorials are suggested to Bridge Hospice, 15100 Birchaven Lane, Findlay, Ohio 45840. Condolences, messages and remembrances for the family can be left at www.feehanrodenbergerfuneralhome.com.
To send flowers to Paul's family, please visit our floral store.
Bridge Home Health & Hospice
15100 Birchaven Lane, Findlay OH 45840