Former Naperville City Councilman Dave Wentz died suddenly on January 4 at the age of 57.
An Active Community Servant
Wentz served the community through various organizations like Citizens Appreciate Public Safety, The Exchange Club of Naperville, and the Naper Settlement board.
Those who knew him say that passion for service is one of the things that made him stand out.
“He had a high level of enthusiasm for anything to do with public safety and he did a really good job of raising the bar on all the initiatives that we were involved in,” said Wes Wernette, the chairman of the CAPS Board. “Not just taking the first ideas that came out of the hat but how could we really take things to the next level.”
Wentz was very patriotic and helped organize the Healing Field of Honor in Naperville four times. But the most recent field in 2019 was the most special.
“That was the first time we did the healing field, and it was the fourth one that we did, that it snowed,” said Wentz’ friend Marty Walker. “It was absolutely beautiful. We put all those flags up on the hill and as soon as we were done, the snow came down.”
Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico said he used to go to Wentz’ grandmother’s house for Bible school as a child. Wentz would sometimes email him photos from his grandmother of memories from that time.
Chirico served on city council with Wentz from 2013-2015. During that time, Wentz pushed for initiatives that made things more convenient for Naperville residents.
“The one that really comes to mind is local adjudication for ordinance violations,” said Chirico. “So if you got a parking ticket or a traffic ticket, that couple be adjudicated here”
That ultimately wasn’t enacted, but it didn’t stop Wentz from pushing for what he thought was right.
“He really loved, loved Naperville,” said Chirico. “He wanted what was best for the community and that’s something that I think showed in his spirit and his desired to be involved.”
A Friend to Many
“First and foremost he was a friend,” said Walker. “That’s the kind of thing that I’m going to miss the most about him. His friendship and his leadership skills and the fact that he was a visionary and could see outside the box.”
Wentz was married to his wife Tonya for almost 30 years and was a father of three children.
A full obituary and visitation information can be found on the Friedrich-Jones Funeral Home website.
Naperville News 17’s Casey Krajewski reports.
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