Charles James Wentz Sr.

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LAURINBURG — Charles James Wentz, Sr. passed away at the age of 95 at Scotia Village on Oct. 7, 2016.

Born on April 29, 1921, in Union County, Charlies was the son of the late Zebulon Vance and Roberta Gordan Wentz. He was a World War II and Korean War veteran, proudly serving in the U.S. Army for 20 years. His distinguished career took his family and him to many parts of the world. He particularly was proud of serving at the NATO headquarters in Paris, France.

Following his retirement at a Lt. Colonel, he and his family settled in Laurinburg, where he served as executive director of the Laurinburg-Scotland County Chamber of Commerce for seven years. During this time he, along with several other outstanding community leaders, were instrumental in designing an industrial development program, which ultimately brought over 20 industries to the area. This economic plan was recognized throughout the southeast and became a model for other communities. This group of leaders was also responsible for Laurinburg's recognition as an All-American City in 1967.

In 1969, Charlies became president of Scottish Foods Systems, where he became involved nationally with the Hardees, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Pizza Inn franchises. His leadership with this corporation earned him the title of "The Colonel," which was enjoyed by the real colonel of KFC on a number of occasions. Charlie "officially retired" after 16 years with this company, but continued making pizza and chicken deliveries to community newcomers for years.

In addition to his distinguished careers, he was extremely active in his church, First United Methodist, and in the Laurinburg community. Among his church involvements were the Administrative Board and Chair of the Stewardship and Building Committees. He served as Chairman of the Scotland Memorial Hospital Board and the Foundation Board; member of the Scotia Village Board of Trustees; a mason in the Masonic Lodge and was a chairman of the St. Andrews capital campaign, from whom he received the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award for service to community.

He was preceded in death by his wide of 57 years, Mary Redwine Wentz, and his daughter Cynthia Wentz Ficklin and three brothers. He is survived by his sister, Frances Wentz Ferguson of Port St. Lucie, Fl.; sons Charles Wentz Jr. and his wife Susan of Laurinburg; Jerry Wentz and his wife Elizabeth, of Raleigh; Terry Wentz of Warner-Robins, Ga; son-in-law Jack Ficklin and his wife Kelly of Laurinburg; his grandchildren: Kate Ficklin Inman, Tom Ficklin, Lindsay Wentz Caulder, Charlie Wentz, Ashley and Matthew Wentz, Sara and Michael Wentz and Parker Bangs and nine great-grandchildren.

A memorial service, officiated by the Rev. Dr. Jonathan Jeffries, will be held at the First United Methodist Church in Laurinburg on Wednesday, Oct. 12 at 2 p.m. The family will greet friends following this service in the fellowship hall.

Memorials may be made to First United Methodist Church, 101 W. Church St.; Scotland Memorial Foundation, 500 Launchwood Dr.; St. Andrews University, 1700 Dogwood Mile or Scotia Village, 2200 Elm Ave, whose wonderful care for our dad and granddaddy for the past seven years will always be remembered.

McDougald Funeral Home is serving the family.

Funeral Home
McDougald Funeral Home & Crematorium
305 East Church Street
Laurinburg, NC 28353
(910) 276-2200
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Published in Laurinburg Exchange from Oct. 10 to Oct. 11, 2016
bullet Korean War bullet U.S. Army bullet World War II