Michael Larry Wentz, Concordia, died Sunday, February 13, 2022, at Cloud County Health Center. He was 79. He was born July 8, 1942, in Cloud County at St. Joseph Hospital to Hilary and Mildred (Blake) Wentz. His education was completed in Concordia public schools, attending Washington and McKinley schools and graduating from Concordia High School in 1960. As a young adult, he joined the Methodist Church in Concordia. He participated in Scouting and attended the Valley Forge 1957 Jamboree where his troop had lunch with Senator Frank Carlson.
Michael attended Kansas State University, graduating with a degree in Secondary Education Industrial Arts in 1965. He was most proud of his time on the KSU Rifle Team and the national record they set. Following graduation, he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the US Army and attended training at Aberdeen Proving Grounds before being stationed at Fort Carson, Colorado.
While in his junior year at Kansas State, Michael met Marsha Lyn Minnis. Their first date was to attend a KU vs. KSU basketball in Lawrence (KSU won the game). They were married on June 25, 1966, in Newton Kansas, at the Evangelical United Brethren Church (now Salem United Methodist Church). They moved to Fort Lee, Virginia, to continue Michael’s service in the US Army. When his service time was completed, they returned to Concordia and he worked at Wentz Construction Company.
In 1968, Michael and Marsha moved to Honolulu so Michael could get his Master’s Degree in Education at the University of Hawaii. Following completion of his degree in 1969, they returned to Concordia and Michael started a 33 year career educating students in Industrial Arts, Auto Mechanics, Small Engine Repair, and Principals of Technology at Concordia High School.
While in Honolulu, Michael and Marsha attended a Methodist Church. When they returned to Concordia, they began attending Concordia First United Methodist Church. Church was an important part of Michael’s life. He worked many years with the youth and the Boy Scout troop that was sponsored by the church. The most important group he was part of was the Crusaders Sunday School Class. The class enjoyed many adventures, including camping, mystery trips, and sponsoring the annual Thanksgiving dinner.
Michael had a life-long love of learning and never threw anything away without trying to fix it first. He spent many hours woodworking in his home shop. For many years, he provided sewing machine repair services to individuals and schools in Kansas. He also loved hunting, fishing, camping. He was a loving father and demonstrated a strong work ethic; he was most proud of his two sons.
Michael was proceeded in death by his parents. He is survived by his wife, Marsha, and two children: Marc (Joan) Wentz, Chula Vista, CA; and Monte (Nancy) Wentz, Concordia; and one grandchild: Jared Wentz, Chula Vista, CA; sister Roslyn (Gary) Lowry, Abilene, KS; sister Elisabeth (Doug) Harrington, Broken Arrow, OK; brother James (Barbara) Wentz, Lindsborg, KS. He is also survived by many nieces, nephews, cousins, and dear friends.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held on Wednesday, February 16, at 10:30 am at Concordia First United Methodist Church, 740 W 11th St, Concordia, with Pastor Kibum Kim officiating. Interment will follow at Walnut Grove Cemetery, with military honors conducted by the Local American Legion Post #76. Visitation will be held on Tuesday, February 15, 2022 from 1-8 pm at Nutter Mortuary, 116 E 6th St, Concordia, with the family receiving friends from 5-7 pm. The family asks that Michael’s memory be honored by gifts to the Concordia First United Methodist Church, in care of the funeral home. For online condolences, please visit www.nuttermortuary.com.