Wendell Merrill Kathan – Waterbury Roundabout

Wendell M. Kathan, 80, of Warren, passed away on Friday, May 17, 2024, at the University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington. Born February 7, 1944 in Montpelier, he was the son of the late Merrill and Mildred (Brooks) Kathan. He was previously married to Donna Demas (1963-1982) and AnnMarie Nichols (1987-2014).

In 2014, he decided to move to Massachusetts to be with his high school sweetheart May Hnath. During this time he became ill. May cared for him until the end, when he decided he wanted to be back home in Vermont to spend his final months with son Chris and daughter-in-law Stefanie. He enjoyed his last days riding side by side through the Kathan country.

Wendell was a 1962 graduate of Waitsfield High School. As a young man, he worked excavations for Leonard Robinson in Warren and built houses with his brother-in-law Donny Demas. He later was self-employed as a carpenter/general contractor and retired from his last job as a clerk for the state of Vermont. Wendell was also a 50-year member of the Mad River Masonic Lodge #77 of Waitsfield.

As a gifted woodworker, he was involved in all kinds of carpentry work. In his later years his hobby was turning wooden bowls and making pens. Wendell loved all kinds of animals and raised every farm animal imaginable. He enjoyed everything from pigeon racing to draft horses. He is in fact survived by his 30+ year old talking African gray parrot named Willey.

Wendell is also survived by family members, including his children Lisa Kathan-White and her husband Tony of Temple, Texas, son Christopher Kathan and his wife Stefanie of Warren, son Mitchell Kathan and his wife Megan of Lunenburg, Vermont; his brother Francis Kathan of Warren, and his sister Reta Goss and her husband John of Warren; stepdaughter Kristina Swinchoski and her husband Bob of Williamstown; 11 grandchildren and several great-grandchildren, as well as nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.

He was predeceased by a brother Wayne Kathan and stepdaughter Kathy Brooks.

A graveside service will be held at a later date at Warren Village Cemetery. For those who wish, memorial gifts would be appreciated at the Mad River Valley Ambulance Service, PO Box 305, Waitsfield, VT 05673 or online at

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