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Funeral arrangements announced for Geauga County Marine who died in parachuting accident

The Kenston grad & former standout athlete will be laid to rest with full military honors next Tuesday.

CHESTERLAND, Ohio — Funeral arrangements have been made public for Sgt. Wolfgang Kyle "Wolf" Weninger, the United States Marine and Geauga County native who died two weeks ago following a parachute training jump that went wrong.

Visitation for Weninger will take place Monday at the DeJohn Funeral Home on Chillicothe Road in Chesterland from 2-4 p.m. and 5-8 p.m., with a prayer and remembrance service to follow. The next day, a funeral Mass will be held at 11 a.m. from St. Anselm Catholic Church just down the road before the sergeant is buried privately at All Souls Cemetery in Chardon with full military honors.

A devout Catholic who was raised in Auburn Township, Weninger was an all-conference hockey player and quarterback at Kenston High School, graduating from there in 2010. He continued his football career as a backup at both the Catholic University of America and Valparaiso University before eventually finishing his studies at Kent State, but later found a higher calling when he enlisted in the Marines in 2015.

Credit: AP
This Aug. 7, 2015 photo provided by the U.S. Marine Corps shows Pfc. Wolfgang K. Weninger, honor graduate for Platoon 2061, Hotel Company, 2nd Recruit Training Battalion, during graduation from boot camp in Parris Island, S.C.

Weninger lived in North Carolina during his enlistment with the Corps, and last year completed the tough task of becoming a special forces operator. He most recently learned to be a paratrooper at the U.S. Army Airborne School at Ft. Benning, Georgia, but died at the age of 28 just days before his scheduled graduation.

An obituary posted on the DeJohn website described Weninger as a "true outdoorsman" who was also artistic and loved spending time with his family and friends. He will be remembered as "just fun, out-going, full of life, sarcastic, caring, humble, humorous, hard-working, fiercely loyal, dedicated, and always a natural leader."

"He loved people, being a Marine MARSOC Raider, being a part of any team, and especially being a Special Forces Operator," the obit read. "He will be deeply missed by many and his spirit will live on in those that knew him best."

The Marines have not yet released full details regarding just went wrong during Weninger's fatal jump. Weninger is survived by his mother Michelle and father Ernst, his stepmother and stepfather, three siblings, and his "devoted" girlfriend Shannon; the family is asking donations be made to the Marine Raider Foundation.

Credit: AP
This photo provided by his family shows Sgt. Wolfgang "Wolf" K. Weninger with his girlfriend, Shannon Riggins, at the Marine Corps ball in 2019 near Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.

Gov. Mike DeWine has ordered all flags across Geauga County to fly at half-staff until sunset on the day of the funeral. Those wishing to attend the church in person must wear masks due to the coronavirus pandemic, while those unable to come can still watch the Mass live on the St. Anselm website.

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