Skip Wensyel


James (Skip) Wensyel – LBG #86


Skip Wensyel, 86, of Carlisle, passed away on Thursday, August 20, 2015 at the Sarah Todd Memorial Home, Carlisle. He was born in Bellaire, OH on October 26, 1928 to the late Charles and Edna Wensyel. Skip was a 1952 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY and then spent over 21 years in the Army before retiring at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in 1972. He served during the Korean Conflict and Vietnam, receiving 2 Silver Stars, 2 Bronze Stars, 3 Purple Hearts and 10 Air Medical Meritorious Service medals. He also received foreign decorations from Korea, South Vietnam, Australia and Turkey. In addition to his tours overseas, he served in bases all over the country from Fort Lewis, WA to Fort Benning, GA and served as an aide to Presidents Truman, Eisenhower, and Kennedy. He also received a Masters in History in 1956, an MBA in 1962 and his Masters in English Literature in 1964.  Both Masters were from the University of Pittsburgh. After his retirement from the military, Skip worked as a Vice President and Director of Investments for Wells Fargo; as a supervisor of historic sites at Palisades Park, NJ; was self-employed as a security consultant; and was Vice President and Director of Security at Penick Corporation. In 1983, he married Jean S. McDermott McKinney. He was licensed to guide in April of 1990 and continued guiding until health issues forced him to stop following the 2007 season.  He enjoyed being a licensed guide at the Gettysburg Battlefield and his knowledge and personability made him a strong presence among his colleagues and friends. He was also the author of four books (Martha’s Easter Bonnet, Security During StrikesPetersburg: Out of the Trenches, Appomattox: The Passing of the Armies) and many articles that were published in American Heritage, American History Illustrated, the Civil War Times and Readers Digest. He is survived by his wife, Jean S. Wensyel of Carlisle and many friends who will surely miss him.  Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, August 26, 2015 at Second Presbyterian Church, 528 Garland Drive, Carlisle with Rev. Jeffrey W. Gibelius and Rev. Jennifer J. McKenna officiating. A graveside service with full military honors will be held at Evergreen Cemetery, Gettysburg at 2:00 p.m. There will be a visitation from 9:00 a.m. until the time of the service at the church.


In consideration of the services of The Association of Licensed Battlefield Guides®, their officers,  agents, and members, and/or all other persons or entities associated with those businesses (hereinafter collectively  referred to as “ALBG”) I agree as follows: 

Although ALBG has taken reasonable steps to provide me with appropriate equipment and experienced,  skilled guides so I can enjoy an activity for which I may not be skilled, ALBG has informed me this activity is not  without risk. Certain risks are inherent in each activity and cannot be eliminated without destroying the unique  character of the activity. These inherent risks are some of the same elements that contribute to the unique  character of this activity and can be the cause of loss or damage to my equipment, or accidental injury, illness, or  in extreme cases, permanent injury, trauma and/ or death. ALBG does not want to frighten me or reduce my  enthusiasm for this activity, but believes it is important for me to know in advance what to be aware of and to  expect and to be informed of the inherent risks as reasonably as possible. Most programs will be conducted on  the grounds of the Gettysburg National Military Park (“GNMP”). The following describes some, but not all, of  those risks.

  • Tripping, slipping and/or falling on uneven, slippery and/or brush and/or leaf-covered terrain
  • Exposure to severe weather, including but not limited to: Excessive cold, heat and/or humidity, sun,  heavy rain, thunderstorms, lightening and/or high winds 
  • Exposure to stinging insects, poison ivy and/or poison oak 
  • Traffic on GNMP and public roadways adjacent and through GNMP, which may be heavy at times and  may include, but is not limited to: automobiles, buses, motorcycles, scooters, horses, horse-drawn  vehicles, Segways and bicycles 

I am aware that outdoors programs entail risks of injury, trauma and/or death to any participant. I  understand the description of these inherent risks is as complete as is reasonably possible, and that other unknown  or unanticipated inherent risks may result in injury, trauma and/or death. I agree to assume and accept full  responsibility for the inherent risks identified herein and those inherent risks not specifically identified but may  also occur. My participation in this activity is purely voluntary; no one is forcing me to participate and I elect to  participate in spite of and with full knowledge of the inherent risks. 

I acknowledge that engaging in this activity may require a degree of skill and knowledge different than  other activities and that I have responsibilities as a participant. I acknowledge that the staff of ALBG [and the  Staff of the Gettysburg National Military Park who are publicly available to all Visitors for information at no  charge] has been available to more fully explain to me the nature and physical demands of this activity and the  inherent risks, hazards, and dangers associated with this activity. 

I certify that I am fully capable of participating in this activity. Therefore, I assume and accept full  responsibility for myself, including all minor children in my care, custody, and control, for bodily injury, death or  loss of personal property [including but not limited to automobiles, other vehicles, pets, etc.] and expenses as a  result of those inherent risks and dangers identified herein and those inherent risks and dangers not specifically  identified, and as a result of my negligence in participating in this activity. 

I have carefully read, clearly understood and accepted the terms and conditions stated herein and  acknowledge that this agreement shall be effective and binding upon myself, my heirs, assigns, personal  representative and estate and for all members of my family, including minor children.

Close and choose agree to continue with registration.