The funeral procession for a Reading fire official who lost his battle with a rare brain cancer over the weekend will significantly impact traffic, officials advised Tuesday.
First Deputy Chief Ron "Moose" Wentzel will be laid to rest Friday afternoon at the Pleasant View Cemetery near Sinking Spring, however, the traffic impact is expected to spread to the Kuhn Funeral Home at 8th and Penn avenues in West Reading, said Chief Ed Moreland, Western Berks EMS.
A viewing will be held at the funeral home from 4 p.m. until 9 p.m. on Thursday and from 8 a.m. until 10 a.m. on Friday,
The funeral procession is then expected to leave the funeral home at approximately 10 a.m. Friday and travel to Advent Lutheran Church, 16, Telford Ave., in West Lawn.
At approximately 1 p.m., the procession will depart the church for the cemetery by traveling west on Penn Avenue and turning left onto Park Avenue in Sinking Spring.
Thousands of public safety personnel are expected to attend the funeral, said Moreland, adding that significant traffic delays can be expected as a result of both the procession between the funeral home and the church and the procession between the church and the cemetery. Drivers are encouraged to avoid the area, if possible.
Wentzel, 51, worked 24 years with the Reading Fire Department.
His fight against cancer inspired the community, drawing more than 40 fire companies to parade past his house in Sinking Spring last month.
And on New Year's Eve, family and friends gathered with glow sticks and sparklers to "light up the night" outside his home.