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Ron "Moose" Wentzel's funeral draws family, friends and fellow firefighters from near and far

By Liz Kilmer, Reporter, LKilmer@wfmz.com
Published On: Jan 17 2014 04:30:54 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 17 2014 05:50:41 PM CST

Hundreds of firefighters, friends and family members gathered Friday to honor a lifelong public servant, Ron "Moose" Wentzel.

WEST LAWN, Pa. -

Hundreds of firefighters, friends and family members gathered Friday to honor a lifelong public servant, Deputy Reading Fire Chief Ron "Moose" Wentzel.

"The turnouts been good, and it's deserving," said Capt. David Stemler, Western Berks EMS.

Fire trucks from across the region led a procession through Spring Township, from a service for Wentzel at Advent Lutheran Church in Spring Township to his burial at the Pleasant View Cemetery.

Many who didn't know Wentzel gathered on surrounding sidewalks to pay their respects.

"I think it's beautiful what they did for him," said Lydia Keffer.

Those who were close to Wentzel described the fallen hero as a man dedicated to serving his community and loved ones.

"He was somebody you could always count on," said Stemler, a friend of Wentzel's for more than 30 years.

"You couldn't ask for a better firefighter, fire instructor, mentor, leader," said Jason Batz, a Reading firefighter. "That was him."

Loved ones told 69 News that Wentzel felt "called" to help others, and loved to teach his fellow first responders.

"He passed that experience and knowledge on to make firefighters what they are today," said Chief Gary Mogel, Reading Fire Dept. "And that legacy will be here forever."

Wentzel passed away Sunday following a two year long battle with a rare brain cancer. He was 51. He had served with the Reading Fire Department for 24 years, working for many other Berks departments during that time.

"It just doesn't seem right in the long run," said Stemler. "But he's at peace."