University News

WIU Mourns Death of Office Manager

October 28, 2021

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MACOMB, IL – Lori (Wust) Menke, who had served as the office manager in the Western Illinois University (former) Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, passed away Wednesday, Oct. 27. She was 52. Funeral Service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 30 at the Wise Family Funeral Home in Roseville. Visitation will be held two hours prior to service.

"The Western Illinois University community mourns Lori's passing. We extend our deepest sympathies to Lori's family, friends and colleagues," said Western Illinois University President Guiyou Huang.

Menke began working at WIU in May 2001 as an extra help Secretary III in the College Student Personnel department. She moved into Office Support Specialist and Office Manager positions in the (former) Department of Dietetics, Fashion Merchandising and Hospitality and the Department of Military Science, before moving to philosophy and religious studies.

"Lori had a positive attitude even through difficult times. She was always thinking about others, especially those who were disadvantaged in any way," Gordon Pettit, philosophy professor and philosophy coordinator. "She was always ready to help students, faculty, and other staff and would go the extra mile to make sure they felt welcomed. She will be greatly missed."

Larry Pickett of WIU's Department of Military Science added that Lori was a valuable, dedicated and vital part of the Military Science department.

"She considered all of our students an extension of her family and cared for them in the same manner. Even after they graduated from WIU, she stayed in contact with many of them and enjoyed hearing of their accomplishments and career plans," Pickett said. "My prayers and condolences go out to her husband and son on this unexpected loss of their wife and mother."

She is survived by her husband, Doug, a recent WIU retiree (University Technology) and WIU graduate; one son, Gunnar; her mother, Joan; and two sisters, Linda and Leigh.

The full obituary can be found at

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