John Edward Wentworth was born at home on April 6, 1935 in Riverview, Nebraska to Norris Edward Wentworth and Emma (Zeigler) Wentworth for the price of three wagons of wood. His family farmed in Nebraska until August of 1950 when they relocated to Evant, Texas due to a sister’s health. He passed away on Sunday, April 26, 2020 in Chadron, Nebraska.
John wanted to go to college and was unable to do so. As his children were growing up he repeatedly said, “when you go to college…” His four children and their spouses all have degrees, many receiving advanced degrees, as do many of his grandchildren.
He moved to Fort Worth and went to work for the railroad as a switchman around 1955 and worked there until 1964.
He then went to work for the Texas Prison System until March of 1967 when he moved to a rural farm west of Brampton, North Dakota with his parents. They ran a cattle ranch and planted grain and row crops. John met Beth (Peterson) Wentworth, and they were married on November 28, 1976. While Beth went back to college, John stayed between the farm and Minneapolis, Minnesota. In 2007, John retired from the farm and moved to Chadron, Nebraska.
John was active in the United Methodist Church of Cogswell, Oakes, and Chadron; the Masonic Lodge in Forman, North Dakota; and the District 26 North Dakota Democratic Party. Many will remember John for his love of overalls, cups of coffee and doughnuts or pie, advice given on any subject (even if you didn’t ask for it), and his sweet tooth for always having candy to handout. As a friend stated, “he was a good man who tried to do right, as he was given the light to see it.”
John is survived by his wife, Beth of Chadron, NE. Four children: Debbie Wentworth (Mansfield, TX), Jim (Karen) Wentworth (El Paso, TX), Patricia (David) Palmer (El Paso, TX), and Ed (Maureen) Wentworth (Oakes, ND). Seven Grandchildren: Michelle (Steven) Boyles (Odessa, TX), Katherine Wentworth (Austin, TX), David Wentworth (El Paso, TX), Kenneth and Elizabeth Palmer (El Paso, TX), and Estella and Franklin Wentworth (Oakes, ND). Three sisters: Jean Fox (Lampasas, TX), Retha Spake (Hurst, TX), and Lila (Allen) Robbins (West Worth Village, TX). And many nieces, nephews and cousins.
John was preceded in death by his parents Norris and Emma Wentworth, a nephew Tony Keller, and his brother-in-law’s Joe Fox and Jim Spake.
John was a loving husband, father, grandfather, and friend to so many. He will be missed, but we will all hold close our memories of him.
A memorial service will be on Monday, May 4, 2:00 pm at Chamberlain Chapel in Chadron, Nebraska and a gravesite service on Wednesday, May 6, 10:30 am at Oakes View Cemetery in Oakes, North Dakota. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The American Diabetes Association and the American Heart Association.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of John Wentworth, please visit our floral store.