Obituary of Carl "Bill" Wenner Jr

Remembering Lifelong Volunteer Bill Wenner (1931-2024)


Remembering lifelong volunteer Carl “Bill” Wenner (1931-2024)

Obituary of Carl "Bill" Wenner Jr

Image: USA Water Ski & Wake Sports Foundation

By Jack Burden

Carl “Bill” Wenner, Jr., a beloved figure in the water skiing community, has passed away at the age of 92. Originally from Upstate New York and later residing in Auburndale, FL, Wenner’s legacy in the sport spans decades and leaves an indelible mark.

Inducted into the Florida Waterski Federation Hall of Fame in 2011, Wenner was a lifelong supporter of water skiing. Wenner was born into a family of avid snow skiers. His father saw water skiing for the first time in a newsreel at the movies, then built his own skis using sneakers for bindings. And so began Wenner’s lifelong passion for the sport.

Wenner dedicated over 75 years to the water skiing world, serving as a senior judge for nearly four decades and participating in various capacities. His contributions extended beyond his own achievements, as he served as President of the American Water Ski Association from 1974 to 1976 and the American Water Ski Educational Foundation for many years, retiring from the Board of Trustees in 2011.

His infectious passion for water skiing was evident in his active involvement as an athlete, official, board member, and volunteer throughout his life. He established the Bill Wenner Scholarship, awarded to deserving youth competitors at the Florida State Championships, showcasing his commitment to nurturing the next generation of water skiers.

Wenner’s remarkable career garnered numerous accolades, including the Tommy Dorwin Outstanding Judge Award (1983), American Water Ski Hall of Fame Award of Distinction (2007), and induction into the Florida Water Ski Hall of Fame (2011). Beyond his achievements, Wenner was cherished for his positive spirit, lively personality, and encyclopedic knowledge of the sport.

He often joked that he had met so many friends over the years that he would never have to stay in a hotel if he were to drive across the country.

As we mourn the loss of Bill Wenner, we celebrate his remarkable life and enduring contributions to water skiing. His absence will be deeply felt by all who knew him. Our heartfelt condolences go out to his family and loved ones during this difficult time.

Donations may be made in his name to The Scholarship Fund at