Mary Ann Wentz
MaryAnn Wentz, 70, a life-long Alaskan, died on
September 6th, Friday, at home due to natural causes.
She was born and raised Inupiaq Eskimo in White
Mountain, Alaska (east of Nome) on May 8th, 1932 to Ed and Mary Walker. In 1952
she left her home to attend Mt. Edgecumbe School in Sitka where she excelled in
her studies and received certification as a practical nurse. She worked at Mt.
Edgecumbe Hospital until she moved to Juneau in 1960. MaryAnn worked at Senior
National Service Corps as a senior volunteer from 1987 to 2001.
She had fond memories of her childhood days. She remembered it as a peaceful
time when the commotion of modern day trappings did not intrude. MaryAnn and her
siblings often went berry picking. She remembered filling 50-gallon kegs with
succulent fruit. Summer days were filled with fishing. Her family and neighbors
often got up at 5 a.m. to go fishing. It was not uncommon for them to catch
2,000 fish before the sun was up. Those idyllic days changed for MaryAnn in 1952
when she left her home to attend Mt. Edgecumbe School in Sitka. There she
excelled in her studies and received certification as a practical nurse. She
worked at Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital until she moved to Juneau in 1960. Then she
turned her energies toward her six children. She loved helping other people.
A Goldbelt, Shee-Atika, and Sealaska Shareholder, Mary Ann was a life-long
member of Alaska Native Sisterhood, Camp # 2 and also a member of the Salvation
Army. Her hobbies included berry picking, an avid reader, watching wrestling on
TV with her husband and boys, knitting and crocheting, visiting
friends/relatives, and traveling. MaryAnn was adopted into the Eagle-Killer
Whale Clan of the Tlingit Nation by Flora Huntington and Stella Martin as a
MaryAnn and Henry E. Wentz were married on October 28th, 1955. Mary Ann Wentz
was preceded in her death by her husband Henry E. Wentz, daughter Maureen Lee
Wentz, parents Ed and Mary Walker, brother Fred Walker, sister Isabel Walker.
Mary Ann is survived by her sons; Michael, Frederick, Cecil, Henry of Chugiak,
and daughter Jennifer Harrison of Sacramento, California. Brothers Edward Walker
of Anchorage, Eli Walker of Nome, sister Laura Langstrom of Anchorage.
Other survivors include grandchildren, Jasmin and Tyrel Wentz of Chugiak,
Richard Siverly of Juneau, Denali and Harmony Wentz of Juneau, Chris and Cody
Eckerson of Portland, Oregon, and Sheylin Harrison of Sacramento, California.
Numerous aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews, cousins can be found from Pt.
Barrow all the way to Florida.
Anchorage Memorial services for MaryAnn Wentz were held on Tuesday, September
10, at Evergreen Memorial in Anchorage. Juneau services were held on Thursday,
September 12 at the ANB Hall. Following the services in Juneau, MaryAnn was
creamated and laid to rest with her husband, Henry E. Wentz in the Sitka
Honorary pall bearers are Michael, Fred, Cecil, Hank, Jennifer Wentz, and Edward
The family requests that memorials be made to: The Raymond Paddock Jr. Medical
Emergency Fund 320 West Willoughby, Suite 300 Juneau, Alaska 99801.
Source: Nome Nugget, 26 September 2002