AUSTINTOWN - Following a lengthy hospital stay, Russell Wentz passed away Saturday, Aug. 10, surrounded by the love of his wife and children.
Russ was born Feb. 26, 1939. to Russell and Mildred (Wolboldt) Wentz.
He grew up in New Middletown and was a part of the 1957 graduating class of Springfield Local High School.
He served in the Navy and was stationed both in the Aleutian Islands in Alaska and Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.
He married the love of his, Sandy (Patoray) in 1966, and during their 53 years of marriage had two children, Michele and Christopher.
Russ began work as a process operator in an air separation facility adjacent to Sharon Steel for several decades and then took great pride in being the custodian of the Zion Lutheran Church where the family are long time members. He served on the church council and enjoyed being one of “Santa’s Special Helpers” to the daycare children. He was a member of the Austintown Lions Club, volunteer with the Mahoning Valley Ulster Project, a member of the New Middletown Farmers and Sportsmen Club, and a charter member of the Mahoning Valley Sons of the American Revolution chapter.
He was proud to be the only family locally to have three generations in membership. Russ recognized the importance of blood donation as he is an eight gallon lifetime donor himself. Russ was always ready with a joke or a story and loved doing crossword puzzles. He passed his love and knowledge of fishing and boating on to his family and we enjoyed many vacations to Canada and Virginia. His greatest joy was being “Papa” to Erik, Alexa, Austin, and Adam, spending time with them, attending all of their events and activities and sharing a pew with them on Sunday mornings.
Russ leaves his wife, Sandy; children Michele (John) Vargo of Boardman and Christopher (Chrissie) Wentz of Austintown; one sister, Barbara (Don) Seely of Poland, and a brother, Robert (Gayle) Breeding of Bowling Green, Ky.; and four grandchildren, Erik and Alexa Vargo and Austin and Adam Wentz.
He was preceded in death by his parents; stepfather, Austin Breeding; and a brother, Ronald Breeding.
Calling hours will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 13, from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Zion Lutheran Church in Cornersburg and on Wednesday from 10 to 10:45 a.m. at the church. Funeral services will begin at 11 a.m. with the Pastor Duane Jesse presiding.
Contributions may take the form of donations to the church Memorial Fund.
The family wishes to express their heartfelt gratitude to the caring staff at St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital and Select Specialty Hospital.
Professional arrangements are being handled by Higgins-Reardon Funeral Homes, Austintown Chapel.