Esther Scott (Ard) Wentz, 78, of New Richmond, WI peacefully returned to the Lord on October 4, 2017 in the embrace of her family at Regions Hospital. Esther was born February 10, 1939 in Boscobel, WI to Ellen Rose (McDermott) Scott and Charles Kenneth Scott. Esther graduated from New Richmond Senior High School in 1957 and graduated in 1964 with a Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of Wisconsin River Falls earning a gold “R” in academics.
Esther’s teaching career spanned more than thirty plus years; first student teaching in Somerset, WI and then taking a position with Glenwood City, WI where she taught English and produced such memorable productions as the “Boy Friend.” Esther spent the remainder of her career in the Osceola, WI school district as a Media Coordinator and Librarian. “Knowledge is a lifelong pursuit,” as she often said and in 1993 UWRF awarded Esther a Master Science Degree in Education. She retired in 1999, however her teaching and involvement did not stop. It was not uncommon for former students and staff to show up for a visit, consultation or just to have a laugh.
“Serving the community is a calling,” as Esther said and she did serve the City of New Richmond on the Sports Center Board 1982-2012, Park Board 1989 – 2000, Library Board 1999 – 2005 and Historic Preservation 2012 to present. Esther served on the St. Croix Board County Board from 2000 – 2012 and served as the Vice Chair from 2010 to 2012. Her committee assignments on Public Protection, Health and Human Services (served as Board Chair), Finance, Personnel, Administration, Council on Aging, Substance Abuse, WestCAP, Wisconsin County Association and Ad Hoc Building Facilities showcased her commitment and love of St. Croix County. Esther was also a driving force in the creation of the Drug Court and a huge supporter of Butterfly House. Her passion and support for the St. Croix County Nursing Home was unshakeable although often the buildings did shake when she spoke in defense of her passions; Esther practiced “Irish Diplomacy.” In 2017 she was appointed to the County Library Planning Committee and the Council on Aging and Disability Board.
Born of Irish heritage, Esther literally had a green thumb for all things gardening. But her true passion was in the growing of violets. She loved English Comedies, Westerns and always a good book. The “Seven Little Words,” rarely stumped her. She loved the beach and her collection of sea shells from Florida brought the beach home. Esther loved to travel and had many adventures home and aboard. Esther embraced life, challenged the status quo, held friends dear and was always ready to assist anyone needing help or a hug.
Esther was a Teacher, Mentor, Mother and Friend who will live on as she was an organ donor. In Life she shared Knowledge in Death she shared Life.
Preceded in death by her husband Gerald L. (Jerry) Wentz, brother, Charles Scott and sister Mary Margaret Sullivan. Esther’s legacy will continue with sons, Joe Ard (Kim), Stephen Ard, New Richmond, Jeff Wentz, Kent, Wash.; daughters, Scottie (Ellen) Ard, New Richmond, Margaret Bower,Edgewater,Fl., Catherine Burke (Eric), New Richmond, and Kristi Thornton, Des Moines, Wash.; 21 grandchildren 13 great-grandchildren, numerous nieces, nephews, grand and great nieces, nephews and friends.
The family wishes to thank New Richmond Police and EMS, Westfields Hospital, Life Link, Regions Hospital and Life Source for their care and compassion.
Visitation will be held from 5-7 PM on Friday October 6, 2017 at the Cullen Crea Funeral Home in New Richmond. Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 2 PM on Saturday October 7, 2017 at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in New Richmond with visitation for two hours prior to Mass at the church.