For­mer mayor’s fam­ily ‘touched’ by sup­port, love

Wentz re­mem­bered for care of peo­ple, mak­ing dif­fer­ence

The Republican Herald - - FRONT PAGE - BY AMY MARCHIANO STAFF WRITER Con­tact the writer: amarchi­ano@re­pub­li­can­her­; 570628-6028

The mother of the for­mer Mount Car­bon mayor said she ap­pre­ci­ates the love shown to the fam­ily since the death of her son last week.

Bran­don Wentz, 24, was pro­nounced dead Thurs­day by Schuylkill County Deputy Coroner Al­bert Barnes. Schuylkill County Coroner Dr. David G. Moy­lan III said a vir­tual au­topsy per­formed Nov. 9 “showed pul­monary con­ges­tion,” or fluid in the lungs. A tra­di­tional au­topsy per­formed Fri­day con­firmed the find­ings. Tox­i­col­ogy tests have yet to be per­formed and re­sults could be back within two to three weeks.

Janel Wentz-Fire­stone, Wentz’s mother, sent a press re­lease from the fam­ily Tues­day, which states:

“Bran­don touched many lives in our com­mu­nity. His death has left all who knew him in shock and grief-stricken. Bran­don’s com­mu­nity in­volve­ment be­gan at an early age. His grand­mother, Veron­ica Wentz, was the first fe­male mayor for the Bor­ough of Mount Car­bon and he wanted to fol­low in her foot­steps.

“With Bran­don’s un­ex­pected death, we were touched by the many com­ments we heard from mem­bers of the com­mu­nity; we did not even know the many ways that Bran­don touched their lives. Every­one shared their per­sonal story about how Bran­don was so com­mu­nity-minded and wanted to make a pos­i­tive dif­fer­ence in the lives of oth­ers. He ex­pressed a deep care for peo­ple of our town and main­tained a per­sonal fo­cus on the im­por­tance of giv­ing back.

“We made the de­ci­sion to honor Bran­don’s de­sire to strengthen our com­mu­nity by hon­or­ing him through do­na­tions to a lo­cal com­mu­nity agency through a Go­FundMe page (Bran­don “Hon­cho” Wentz Char­ity Fund.) The fam­ily chose Clin­i­cal Out­comes Group be­cause they pro­vide health and so­cial ser­vices and fo­cus on im­prov­ing the health of our com­mu­ni­ties.”

In a mes­sage to The Repub­li­can-Her­ald, Wentz-Fire­stone con­firmed her son re­signed Nov. 8 as mayor of Mount Car­bon. How­ever, she did not know if the bor­ough coun­cil had ac­cepted his res­ig­na­tion.

State po­lice Trooper Vin­cent LaSelva said Tues­day he did not have much in­for­ma­tion be­cause he was still wait­ing on tox­i­col­ogy and au­topsy re­sults. He said Wentz was found by his mother at his res­i­dence in Port Car­bon that he shared with fam­ily.

Wentz-Fire­stone de­clined to com­ment on the fam­ily’s move to Port Car­bon.

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