Kent, Wendel Fraser
July 30, 1924 - January. 27, 2017
Wendel Fraser Kent, of Sarasota, Florida, was called home to his Lord on January 27, 2017. He was 92.
Wendel was born July 30, 1924, in Champaign, Illinois, the son of Paul Kent and Jessie Lusher Kent. He served in the U.S. Army in Europe from 1943 to 1945. Following WWII, he earned his degree in civil engineering from Cornell University, where he met Evelyn, the love of his life. Wed in 1951, they moved to Sarasota with their three sons in 1959.
After working for the city of Sarasota as city engineer, Wendel established and operated the successful road-building company that bore his name. In the Sarasota-Bradenton area he also owned and operated a paving company, Gator Asphalt, and an aggregates mining company, Quality Aggregates, on the site of what is now known as Lakewood Ranch.
Active in his church and his community, Wendel's faith in Jesus and his commitment to public service showed in his devotion to, among others, Siesta Key Chapel, of which he was a founding member, the Sarasota Bay Rotary Club, the Sarasota Chamber of Commerce (former president), the Argus Foundation (founding member), and the Selby Foundation (board member). He was a director of the Palmer Bank, and a founding member of Enterprise Bank, now RBC Bank.
A life-long learner, Wendel was a tireless advocate of vocational education, and of public education in general, notably the Riverview High School Foundation.
Wendel's quiet generosity was manifest among his many employees and associates, and to his countless friends. Without fanfare he gave of his time, talent and treasure to benefit many causes in Sarasota and around the world.
Wendel was predeceased by his wife of 59 years, Evelyn. He is survived by his sister, Mary Twardock (Robert); his sons, Stephen (Sara), Peter (Francine) and Richard; his grandchildren, Skye Kent (Sean), Emily Kent, Wendy Kent and Melissa McCartney (James); and by his great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
A funeral service will be held at Siesta Key Chapel at 11 a.m. Tuesday, January 31. Visitation will be Monday, January 30, from 6 to 8 p.m., at Toale Brothers Funeral Home, 40 N. Orange Ave., Sarasota. Interment will be private.
Published in Herald Tribune from Jan. 27 to Jan. 30, 2017.