CHAPEL HILL – Herbert Warne Wentworth, 100, died on Saturday, June 14, 2014, at Live Well Assisted Living in Chapel Hill. Herb was born on July 3, 1913, in Rochelle Park, NJ, to the late Herbert O. Wentworth and Mary Warne Wentworth. He left New Jersey to attend Duke University in 1931, and spent the rest of his life in N.C. He met Elsie Harris in Durham, where they married in 1936 and had two children.
Herb had a long and gratifying life in business. He began as a bookkeeper and salesman for Durham Notion Co., Inc., in 1935. From 1942-1945, he served successively as Office Manager, Comptroller, Director, and Vice President of the National Munitions Corporation in Carrboro, NC, which made, loaded, and assembled 20-millimeter shells for the US Navy. Not long after the war ended and the munitions plant closed, Herb and a partner, Richmond Sloan, purchased a small retail jewelry business in Chapel Hill. Under different ownership, Wentworth & Sloan Jewelers continues to this day. In 1951, Herb purchased an interest in a small insurance business in Chapel Hill, added a real estate department in 1952, and continued in real estate sales and appraisals for several years. He moved his family to Greensboro when he took a job as Executive Vice President of the N.C. Association of Realtors in 1957. He became Executive Vice President of the North Carolina Savings and Loan League in 1961 and was President and chief operating officer at the time of his retirement in 1978.
Herb and Elsie were married for over 60 years, until her death in 1998. At age 92, he met and married Lucile A. Frick, who died on May 26, 2014.
Throughout his career, Herb was active in numerous civic and professional organizations, including serving as President and charter member of the Chapel Hill Junior Chamber of Commerce; President and lifetime member of the Chapel Hill Jaycees; Secretary of the Orange Co. T.B. Association; President of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Merchants Association and Chamber of Commerce; President of the Chapel Hill Board of Realtors; Vice-President of the Durham Board of Realtors; Vice-President and Director of the University National Bank; Sgt.-at-Arms of the Chapel Hill Rotary Club; Director of the N.C. State Board of Realtors; Dean of N.C. Realtors Institute, UNC; Member of the National Institute of Real Estate Brokers; and Secretary and Treasurer of the N.C. Archaeological Society. He and Elsie were active volunteers on archeological digs in NC with Dr. Joffrey Coe of UNC during the 1940s. They also traveled extensively. Herb was an avid golfer and played weekly into his 90s. He will particularly be remembered for his gregarious and generous spirit.
Herbert Wentworth is survived by a son, H. G. Chip Wentworth and his wife Rebecca Wentworth, of Denver, NC; a daughter, Lynne Wentworth and her husband James Ward, of Chapel Hill; and five beloved grandsons: Marc Talcott of Pleasant Garden, NC, Christopher Wentworth of Raleigh, NC, Matthew Wentworth of Durham, NC, Nicholas Ward and his wife Michelle Ward, of Chapel Hill, NC, and Samuel Ward and his partner Kimberly Garner, of Missoula, MT.
The family extends heartfelt thanks to Diane and Paul Beckett and the entire staff of LiveWell Assisted Living for their loving care of Herb for the past three years.
A private service will be held at a later date.
The Wentworth family is under the care of Hall-Wynne Funeral Service, Durham. Online condolences: www.hallwynne.com Select Obituaries.