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Robert "Bob" Lentz

January 15, 2010

Robert “Bob” Lentz, 70, educator and outdoorsman, passed away peacefully at his home in Danville on January 13, 2010.  The cause was multiple organ failure.  Bob and his wife Sandy retired to Central Pennsylvania ten years ago from Birmingham, MI.   Through his life Bob was an educator who pushed the boundaries of traditional learning and had a profound impact on a broad spectrum of students, teachers, and others who he touched.  A thinker and a doer, Bob was guided by the principles that learning extended far beyond the walls of a classroom, that sensitivity to differences in people was a core component of education, and that a dry sense of  humor was a fundamental tool for connecting with others.  A beloved husband, brother, father, and grandfather, Bob was skilled in guiding those he loved through their own sets of diverse choices with insight and wisdom while withholding judgment.  

Bob served as principal of Groves High School in Birmingham Michigan for 19 years.  As principal he was known for his skilled and sensitive handling of racial and other cutting edge community social issues affecting the school.  Over this period, Groves became nationally recognized for its academic achievements and for its innovations in experiential learning and in multi-cultural leadership.  Bob led the school’s decision to use the new national holiday celebrating the birthday of Martin Luther King as a catalyst for probing discussion and in-service.

Prior to becoming principal in Michigan, Bob served as the founding director of Project Adventure, an organization devoted to the values of providing challenging outdoor problem solving experiences for students.  Until recently, he still served on the Board of Project Adventure.  During his time as Director, Project Adventure went from a program run out of one school classroom to a program impacting curriculum in hundreds of schools nationally and worldwide.  Bob began his career as a high school teacher and coach in North Ridgeville, Ohio and Wichita, Kansas and spent two years working with the national headquarters of Outward Bound.   He also spent ten summers taking youngsters canoe tripping in the Canadian North Woods through Camp Wabun.

Robert Rowe Lentz was born in Philadelphia on July 21, 1939 to Bernard Vosburgh Lentz, an attorney, and Katherine Rowe Lentz, whose extensive work with the Lighthouse Settlement included the introduction of “Meals on Wheels” to the United States.  Bob’s father was an infantry Battalion Commander in WWII.  His maternal Grandfather, Brigadier General Guy Ichabod (GI) Rowe won the D.S.C. at 2nd Marne in 1918.  His paternal Grandfather, Colonel Bernard Lentz, commanded Scofield Barracks in Hawaii, made famous by “From Here to Eternity.”  Colonel Lentz put “Sound-Off” to music and the family still holds part of the copyright.   Bob graduated from Germantown Friends School, where he met and married his high school sweetheart, Sandra Eaton.  He and Sandy recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.  Bob graduated from Brown University with a Bachelor’s degree in History and later earned a Master’s degree in Education from Harvard University.

Since coming to the area, Bob and Sandy have become deeply tied to the local community.  Over the past several years, Bob has served on the Board of the Bloomsburg Theater Ensemble.   In 2008, Bob was awarded the Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Award from Bloomsburg University for his involvement in the Bloomsburg Task Force for Racial Equality.   Bob and Sandy have made strong friends in the community who have helped them through challenging health problems that they have been faced with from time to time.  Despite his failing health, Bob served as the acting headmaster at Greenwood Friends School, in Millville, guiding the school during a time of change.  Bob and Sandy were also actively involved with Christ Memorial Episcopal Church in Danville PA where Bob served on the Vestry and various committees.

In addition to his wife of 50 years, Bob is survived by his children, Benjamin, who is director of a development project in Africa, Sarah who is a teacher in Detroit, and Nathanael who manages a venture fund in Philadelphia, and by 7 grandchildren, 2 sisters and a brother.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend a Requiem Mass to be held Monday, January 18, 2010 at 11:00 AM at Christ Memorial Episcopal Church East Market and Pine Streets Danville PA with the Reverend Nancy Shank officiating.  Friends will be received directly following the service. .  The family requests that in lieu of flowers donations be made in Bob’s memory to the Children’s Hospital Foundation PO Box 827790  Philadelphia PA  19182-7790.

Arrangements are under the direction of Visneski Funeral Home, Inc 10 W Mahoning Street Danville PA.  www.visneski.com

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