Edward Lewis Wentz, age 87, died peacefully at home on February 24, 2018 from heart disease.
Born to Russell Arnold and Dorothea Ellen Wentz in Kirkland, WA on July 30, 1930, he was preceded in death by the love of his life, wife Cleo June (McCreary) Wentz in 2004. Also preceding him were his parents and infant granddaughter Ellen Wentz.
Survived by 5 children: Judi Wentz of Snoqualmie, Margie (Dan) Sanford of Deer Park, Donna Wentz of Seattle, Robert (Debbie) of Enumclaw, and Russell (Sue) of Bothell. Also survived by his sister Janeen Ryseff, sister-in-law Jeanne McCreary and numerous nieces and nephews. Grandchildren: PJ (Jamie) Beaty of Oregon, Nate (Laurie) Beaty of Chicago, Mandy (Monte) Aiken of Spokane, Emily (Andrew) Yaden of Spokane, Daniel (Raegan) Sanford of Louisiana, Katie (Casey) Knox of Puyallup, Edward Lewis Wentz II (US Marines). Great grandchildren: Aaron (Makenna) & Hannah Beaty; Cheyanne, Cleo & MJ Aiken; Mitchell & Novalyn Sanford; June & Ella Yaden.
He was very attached to his cat Hank. He spoiled him rotten always singing a “gruel” song when he fed him.
As a teen, Ed worked for his uncle Jack at the Bergsma dairy farm in Issaquah and with his dad in the furnace business. Ed graduated from Kirkland High (now Lake Washington) in 1948, lettering in track and football.
He met his wife Cleo when she threw a snowball at him and they were married in 1949. Ed and Cleo moved to Snoqualmie Valley where he first worked at Weyerhaeuser and then for Shinner Electric in Snoqualmie, repairing TVs and radios all over the valley. For years he studied electronics and radio communications at home and in 1962 started Wentz Electronics, specializing in 2-way radio sales and service. The business was his passion for 53 years; he finally retired in 2015 at the age of 85. At some point Cleo and all the children helped with the business but Bob, Russ and Donna spent many years working for him.
He served 18 years in the Naval Air Reserve as an electronics technician. He had a great love of flying and flew with Cleo for many years in his Cherokee plane. They flew across the country for both business and to visit grandchildren in Oregon and Nebraska. He enjoyed hunting with friends and spending time at his place on Whidbey Island.
He was a volunteer fireman in Snoqualmie for 37 years, served on the city council and was a lifetime member of the Moose and Eagles fraternal organizations. He and Cleo were grand marshals of the Snoqualmie parade in 2000 and he was again in 2017. Ed was the one who dropped prize-filled ping pong balls from a helicopter at the end of the Snoqualmie parades. He installed and maintained the town siren for decades. It was used to alert volunteer firemen and to this day it rings daily at noon (there was a special ringing the afternoon he died). He always helped friends and neighbors with repairs on radios and other things and helped with wiring and sound systems at many places including Smokey Joe’s, the Fire Hall and the Methodist Church.
Special thanks from the family to Dave Nyauchi and Sue Wentz, caregivers for the past year. And special thanks to devoted neighbor and friend Bob Malmassari. Donations can be made to the Snoqualmie Valley Historical Museum. PO Box 179, North Bend, WA 98045. www.snoqualmievalleymuseum.org/ Or the Kirkland Heritage Society, Heritage Hall, 203 Market Street, Kirkland, WA 98033. www.kirklandheritage.org
Services will be at the Snoqualmie Methodist Church on Saturday, March 10 at 11 AM with a gathering following at the church. Graveside service Monday, March 12 at 10 AM at the Kirkland cemetery, 12036 NE 80th St. Please sign the families online guestbook at www.flintofts.com.