THIS STORY HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING

Rev. Michael Wenning, 75; pastor laid President Reagan to rest in 2004

Rev. Wenning conducted the nationally televised service for the former president at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. Rev. Wenning conducted the nationally televised service for the former president at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. (Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press)
Associated Press / July 1, 2011

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MISSION VIEJO, Calif. - The Rev. Michael Wenning, who was Ronald and Nancy Reagan’s longtime pastor at Bel Air Presbyterian Church in Los Angeles and presided over the 40th president’s moving sunset burial, has died. He was 75.

Rev. Wenning died from leukemia and kidney failure Tuesday at his Mission Viejo home, said his wife, Freda.

The Reagans had attended Bel Air Presbyterian in the Santa Monica Mountains for decades, dating to when Reagan was governor of California.

Rev. Wenning, who was pastor of the 2,500-member church from 1995 to 2001, regularly visited Reagan’s home and Century City office after the former president, stricken with Alzheimer’s disease, stopped appearing in public.

Reagan was 93 when he died on June 5, 2004.

Rev. Wenning conducted the nationally televised hilltop burial service for the former president at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley.

And it was Rev. Wenning who comforted the anguished former first lady.

A native of South Africa, Rev. Wenning was born in Cape Town.