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Jack Lawrence Wentz

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Jack Lawrence Wentz Obituary
Jack Lawrence Wentz, resident of Winnetka, IL, passed away peacefully on Thursday, August 30th, 2018, at age 80. He died while in hospice care in Highland Park, IL, of complications related to Lewy Body dementia and diabetes.??Jack is survived by his wife, Judith; his children, Tiffany and Kipley; daughter-in-law Karin; grandchildren August and Madeleine; his brother, Steve; and sisters-in-law Audrey Brown and Susan Wentz. Jack was born in Savanna, IL, in 1937, son of Marjorie and Delbert Wentz. He was the third of four boys, with whom he remained close throughout their lives. Raised in Harvey, IL, Jack graduated from Crete-Monee High School in Crete, IL, and attended Wheaton College, interested in becoming a minister.?? At Wheaton, he met Judith Powell from Johnson City, NY, daughter of a Baptist minister. Judith was the love of Jack's life, and they were married in 1960. During their early years together, Jack and Judith lived in a small, attic apartment in Harvey, IL. Over the years, they have shared wonderful and humorous stories of their "salad days" together, the loving foundation of their 57-year marriage. They enjoyed going to Bears and Blackhawks games, and gathering with Jack's brothers and their families for weekly dinners and events.?? After graduating with honors from Wheaton College receiving a BA degree in Business, Jack applied and was accepted to the University of Chicago School of Law, receiving a Juris Doctor degree in 1963, and later an MBA from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business in 1977. ??Having been a part of ROTC at Wheaton, Jack served as a 1st Lieutenant in the Finance Corps of the U.S. Army, stationed at 5th Army Headquarters in Chicago. While serving in the Army, Jack was offered a position at Borg-Warner Corporation, the company at which he would spend his entire career. He began as a Staff Attorney in 1963 and later became the Corporate Secretary and Associate General Counsel. He retired from Borg-Warner in 1995. Jack was a member of the University Club, the American Bar Association, Chicago Bar Association, the Legal Club of Chicago, and was on the membership committee of the Economic Club of Chicago. He was also a member of the Legal Club of Chicago, the American Corporate Counsel Association, the Business Round Table, and he served as President of the Chicago Chapter of the American Society of Corporate Secretaries.?? He served as the VP and Secretary of the Borg-Warner Foundation, and worked to improve education on the advisory committee of the Independent College Funds of America, and as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Erikson Institute, the Associated Colleges of Illinois, the St. Augustine College Board, and the Chicago Public Schools Task Force. ??He served on the board of trustees for the Hospice of North Ottawa Community, was the Chairman of the Winnetka Fire and Police Commission, and devoted many hours to his work as a member of the Winnetka Planning Commission. As their family grew, Jack and Judith moved from Harvey to the Edgebrook neighborhood in Chicago, settling there briefly before moving to Winnetka in 1971, where they raised their children. Just before retiring, they purchased a vacation home in Spring Lake, MI, where they spent much of their time over the next two decades.?? Jack was a voracious reader, seemingly never without a book under his arm or in his brief case, and collected a large library of the world's greatest literature. He loved many different types of music and was a great supporter of live theater. He traveled extensively with his wife and children, visiting countries around the world and having greater adventures than he ever could have imagined as a child. Jack enjoyed golf, tennis, and paddle tennis with a close group of life-long friends. In his forties, he learned to ski and scuba dive, but his favorite form of exercise was to take long walks with Judith, in particular at the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe. Weather permitting, they would walk at the garden nearly every day, right up until the very end of his life. Above all, Jack's life centered around Judith and his family. He was most comfortable at home, surrounded by family and close friends. He enjoyed entertaining and treating others to the luxuries and opportunities he did not have growing up. In raising his children, he emphasized the importance of humility and hard work. ??He had a brilliant mind, a sharp wit and a legendary sense of humor. He touched many lives, and is missed by those who knew him.?? A memorial service will be held on Thursday, September 27th at 2PM. The location is Kenilworth Union Church, 211 Kenilworth Avenue, Kenilworth, IL 60043. In lieu of flowers, if you wish, a donation may be made to the Chicago Botanic Gardens in Glencoe, IL. https://www.chicagobotanic.org/donate
Published in a Chicago Tribune Media Group Publication on Sept. 13, 2018
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