Phillip “Wayne” Bentz, age 55, passed peacefully at his home, on Saturday, August 26, 2023, surrounded by family. Born on July 24, 1968, at Laughlin AFB, TX, he was the precious son of Phillip E. and Barbara A. (Edwards) Bentz.
Wayne graduated from Marion Steele H.S. in Amherst, Ohio. He attended Lorain Community College and was planning to complete his education at OSU when he suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury due to an automobile accident at age 20. After a long recovery, he worked beside his father doing whatever needed to be done.
Wayne’s musical talent was evident at an early age. Throughout his elementary and high school years, he was chosen to sing solos, lead the band, and play leading roles in theater productions– most notably portraying the Mayor of Munchkin Land in Elyria Summer Theatre’s “Wizard of Oz” & Lysander in his high school’s “A Midsummer’s Night Dream.”
Wayne was a fine trombonist. He played in his high school Concert, Marching, and Pep bands. He organized trombone ensembles and designed the Senior Marching Band number.
Wayne was known for his wonderful sense of humor. He loved his dad’s homemade pizza, Barq’s Root Beer, and his mom’s 7-layer cookies. His favorite color was purple. His musical taste ranged from Mozart to “The Doors.”
Wayne loved Apple Valley Lake and camping there. He was an excellent skier, could often be seen “gunning” his Sea Doo, and just sitting on the dock thinking and enjoying nature.
Prior to moving to Knox County, Wayne was a long-time member of Park Ave. UMC in Amherst, Ohio. He found his Mt. Vernon church home at First Congregational UCC.
Wayne was preceded in death by his grandparents, William & Josephine (Klauda) Edwards and Edward & Mildred (Snider) Bentz; his uncle, Dennis Bentz; cousins, Cathy Jo Adrian and Franklin Bentz; his best friend, Johnny Ray Prichard; and his beloved cat, “Scruffy.”
In addition to his parents, left to cherish Wayne’s memory are his sister, Christine (Chuck) D’Agostino and her family – Giovanni (Ali) D’Agostino, Via D’Agostino, & Starlena D’Agostino; his aunts, June Edwards and Christina Bentz; his uncle, William (Patricia) Edwards; cousins, Matthew (Rebecca) Bentz, Carl Bentz, and Jennifer Kleiber and their families; and his good friend, Dean Halcomb.
Calling hours will be Sunday, September 17, 2023, from 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. at First Congregational UCC, 200 North Main Street, Mt. Vernon, Ohio. Immediately following, the family invites you join them for a 4:00 p.m. “Celebration of Life” service at the church with Rev. Dr. Jay Marshall Groat officiating. The family will observe a private burial at Birmingham Cemetery, Birmingham, Ohio.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Wayne’s memory to Knox County Winter Sanctuary, Knox County Food for the Hungry, First Congregational UCC Hot Meals Program, Hope Now, Interchurch, or your favorite charity.
Funeral Home: Snyder Funeral Home – Lasater Chapel