C.'s Story

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C. Russell Wentworth, Ph.D., 92, of Traverse City, died Thursday, July 20, 2017 surrounded by his family at his home on Old Mission Peninsula. Russell was born on March 27, 1925 to the late Clifford D. and Laura Edith (Ganger) Wentworth.
Russell was awarded four Bronze U.S. Army 6th Calvary Campaign Stars and a Purple Heart for his service during World War II in Europe.
As a result of the GI Bill, he was able to attend Michigan State College, earning a bachelor's degree.
Russell began his career as a teacher and elementary school principal in Yale. He went on to earn a master's degree in educational administration from Michigan State College and then his Ph.D. from Michigan State University. Russell retired administrative dean emeritus at Wichita State University after 17 years of service.
In his career as a renowned public speaker, Russell was involved in many professional organizations and received numerous honors and awards for service. Russell was chosen by the vice president of Michigan State University and authorized by the U.S. Secretary of Defense (granted lifetime GS 15 rank) to direct an extensive college education recruitment program in Vietnam (December, 1970) as introductory speaker on the Bob Hope/Neil Armstrong "Hope For Education" tour which resulted in the college enrollment of over 20,000 service men and women. He was past president of the Kansas Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers and spoke at eight national conferences of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers. In 1983 Russell received a Special Service Award from the Kansas Community Education Association and was featured in a special news editorial by the KAKE (ABC) television news team entitled Someone You Should Know.
In 1995 Russell was appointed fellow of Northwestern Michigan College. For his service, the NMC University Center dean's offices were named for Dr. C. Russell Wentworth. In 1997 Russell received the Rotary "Service Above Self" award and was appointed a Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow. In 2017 he received a Recognition of Lifelong Service from Boy Scout Troop 34 for his "tenacious commitment to the United States of America and to selfless community service."
Russell is survived by his beloved wife of 67 years, Carolyn Grace Robinson Wentworth; son, Clifford Keith (Jane) Wentworth; daughter, Cindy Kay (David) McMellen; son, Craig Robinson (Joanna Tombs) Wentworth; son, Daniel Russell Wentworth; and three grandchildren, Chelsea (John) Wentworth Fournier, Melissa McMellen (Sherri Pennington) and Matthew (Jenny) McMellen.
In addition to his parents, Russell was preceded in death by his brother, Donald Wentworth.
A funeral service with Army Honor Guard will be held on Wednesday, July 26, 2017, at 3 p.m., with visitation beginning at 2 p.m., at the First Congregational Church. Following the ceremony, burial will take place in the First Congregational Church Garden of Remembrance.
Memorial contributions in Russell's memory may be directed to the Northwestern Michigan College Scholarship Fund or First Congregational Church Garden of Remembrance Endowment Fund.
You may share your thoughts with Russell's family at his online guestbook at www.reynolds-jonkhoff.com.
Published on July 23, 2017
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