Wolfgang Alfred Beyer, affectionately known as “Chef Wolfgang” departed this world on Sunday, October 1, 2023, at his residence in Glendale Heights, IL, surrounded by his devoted wife, Elfriede, and their loving family. He was 82 Wolfgang fought a valiant battle against liver cancer, displaying immense courage throughout.

Born on December 7, 1940, in Koenigsberg, Germany, Wolfgang was the cherished child of Karl Peter Beyer and Christal Klaus. Alongside his siblings, Diethard, Ilona, and Thomas, Wolfgang experienced the challenges of wartime. Recognizing the vital role of the culinary industry in securing sustenance for his family, Wolfgang pursued a path in gastronomy, diverting from his initial aspiration of becoming an architect. He honed his culinary talents through rigorous apprenticeships across Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. One noteworthy chapter of his journey led him to the U.S. Army’s Officers Club in Bad Nauheim, where he played pool with Elvis Presley.

It was at the Cafe Koenig in Bad Nauheim that Wolfgang first encountered Elfriede, who, at first, was not particularly drawn to him. However, Wolfgang’s charm ultimately won her over, and they exchanged vows on Christmas Eve in 1963. Their family grew with the arrival of Rainer and, two years later, Diethard. Wolfgang found himself delivering his own son while expertly attending to guests in his restaurant.

In pursuit of opportunities to share his culinary artistry, the Beyer family relocated to Australia. There, Wolfgang managed prominent hotels in Sydney and had the honor of preparing meals for HRH Prince Phillip. In 1974, driven by a desire to be closer to family both in the U.S. and Germany, Wolfgang immigrated his family to the United States.

His illustrious career included roles as Executive Chef and General Manager of Plentywood Farms, followed by a tenure as Food and Beverage Director for Carson International, overseeing establishments such as Indian Lakes, Nordic Hills, Oakbrook Hills, and O’Hare International.

Wolfgang established and operated Ports of Call Catering, orchestrating events ranging from intimate gatherings to grand affairs of 5000 guests, all while continuing to cook for dignitaries, including Cardinal Joseph Bernardine.

In 1998, Wolfgang briefly embraced retirement before realizing that his passion for culinary excellence still burned brightly. Teaming up with Elfriede, they launched the renowned Schnitzel Platz Restaurant, which they operated for nearly two decades before gracefully passing the torch in 2019. Even in retirement, Wolfgang remained committed to his community, organizing the Glendale Heights Oktoberfest®, where he made his final public appearance on September 15, 2023, during the Official Beer Tapping.

Wolfgang’s love for adventure led him to obtain a private pilot’s license during his time in Australia. His distinguished career garnered him numerous awards and accolades on a global scale. He was an esteemed member of the Fraternal Order of Masons, a dedicated Trustee on the Glendale Heights Police Pension Fund Board, and a cherished congregant of the First United Methodist Church of Lombard. Wolfgang epitomized the roles of Husband, Father, Brother, Grandfather, Uncle, Cousin, Teacher, Mentor, and Friend.

He leaves behind his beloved wife, Elfriede (Baier), and their sons: Rainer & Janice (Crawley), Diethard & Keith (Nicholls), as well as grandsons Michael and Mathew. Wolfgang is also survived by his sister, Ilona Jorgensen, brother, Thomas & Margot, and cherished extended family members, including in-laws: Helga Rohrbach, Therese & Hans Adolf Faust, nephews & nieces: Oliver, Markus, and Tanya Rohrbach, Melanie Beyer, Martina and Manfred Lang, Jeff Jorgensen, Jennifer Lackey-Jorgensen.
He was predeceased by his brother Diethard, father Karl Peter, mother Christal (Klaus), stepfather Ernest Meckerman, sons-in-law Vincent Yerman and Kurt Beyer, sister-in-law Maria Wohlgemuth (Baier), brothers-in-law Kurt Rohrbach and James Jorgensen.

A visitation will be held on Tuesday, October 10, 2023, from 3:00 pm to 9:00 pm, with a service at 7:00 pm, at Salerno’s Rosedale Chapel, 450 W. Lake St., Roselle, IL 60172. For further information, please contact (630) 889-1700 or visit www.salernofuneralhomes.com.

In lieu of flowers, donations to the Chef Wolfgang Beyer Memorial Fund are appreciated. Your donation can be made here.