1904 – 2003

LEWISTON – Errol F. Wentzell, 98, of Rangeley, an original Maine Guide, hunter, fisherman, trapper and storyteller died Friday, May 9, at Russell Park Nursing Home in Lewiston, surrounded by his loving children and a long-time family friend and minister, Gil Healy, after a courageous 20-year battle with prostate cancer. He was the holder of the Boston Post Cane as Rangeley’s oldest citizen.

He was born on May 21, 1904, in Livermore Falls, the son of Ira L. and Hattie (Frank) Wentzell. His mother died when he was four years old and he was raised by his maternal grandparents in Maplewood-Parkdale, Nova Scotia.

He returned to Maine in 1916 to work in the logging industry around the Richardson Lakes. From 1928 to 1943 he worked for the Maine Forest Service mostly based on Metalluk Island on his beloved Richardson Lake.

On July 29, 1933, he married Effie Moore of Rumford and brought her to the cabin that he had built from a houseboat and which later became the forestry station. They were married for 62 years. She died Oct. 2, 1995.

In 1945, they moved to Rangeley village and he went to work as a guide and caretaker for the Wigton family on Rangeley Lake. For over 30 years they owned and operated Haley Pond Camps in Rangeley. In the late 1950s he became the first winter patrolman for Rangeley, and was very proud of the fact that he checked all the camps in Rangeley on snowshoes, rather than on the snow machine that was later used. Throughout his life, he was passionate about the outdoors and well known for his wonderful flower gardens.

He is survived by his son, Errol M. Wentzell and wife, Terri, of Litchfield; a daughter, Sherry McKenna and her husband, Terry, of Burnt Hills, N.Y.; a brother, Leland Wentzell of Bridgewater, Nova Scotia; five grandchildren, Paul Wentzell and his wife, Cindy, Kristina Wentzell and her husband, Chris Brehme, Kimberly McKenna, Sean McKenna and his wife, Jennifer, and Sara McKenna; and three great-grandchildren, Sage, Zebulon and Lily.

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