He was an engineer, pilot and instructor.

JACKSON TWP. Charles P. “Charlie” Wentz, husband of Kent State University Stark campus Dean Denise Seachrist, has died.


Wentz, 71, died on March 2 following a long illness. His battle with colon cancer was the focus of a Canton Repository article last August.


“Charlie was a beloved member of the Kent State University at Stark community, said Robert Sturr, interim assistant dean for academic affairs at KSU Stark.


“He graced our campus with his ready smile, encouraging words and steadfast support for Dean Seachrist. Charlie’s curiosity and love of learning — especially anything to do with aeronautics — was boundless.”


A native of Baltimore, Md., Wentz served as a first lieutenant in the Air Force. He earned a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering and a master’s degree in atmospheric sciences engineering from the Catholic University of America.


He earned a second master’s in business administration from Lake Erie College, and a third in system engineering from the Florida Institute of Technology.


Wentz worked in the aerospace industry as a senior engineer, a test and evaluation manager and test pilot. Prior to his retirement from the Northrop Grumman Co. in 2012, Wentz earned the company’s 2011 President’s Award and a Distinguished Engineering Project Achievement Award for Global Hawk.


He was certified to fly helicopters, gliders and single and multi-engine aircraft.


Wentz also taught at Ohio University and Kent State, and served as an FAA flight examiner.


In 2019, Wentz achieved a dream when he was able to pilot one of the hot-air balloons during the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival Balloon Classic, which takes place on the Kent Stark campus.


“We will miss Charlie’s presence at campus events, always by Dean Seachrist’s side,” Sturr added. “We will never forget his support for our students and for Stark County.”


Wentz is survived by Seachrist, whom he married in 2001; two sons, Patrick of Miami, Fla., and Christopher of Cuyahoga Falls; a daughter, Katherine Smith and her husband, James, of Mentor; two grandchildren and his stepmother.


Visiting hours will be from 4 to 7 p.m. March 6 at the Heitger Funeral Home Jackson Chapel at 5850 Wales Ave. NW.


Services will be held at 11 a.m. March 7 at Church of the Lakes United Methodist Church, 5944 Fulton Drive NW. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service.


Memorial donations may be made to the Scholarship Fund at Kent State University at Stark, 6000 Frank Ave. NW, N. Canton, OH, 44720.