Cover photo for William "Bill" H. Jentz III's Obituary
William "Bill" H. Jentz III Profile Photo

William "Bill" H. Jentz III

January 24, 1939 — September 2, 2023


William "Bill" H. Jentz III



A private graveside service will take place on Thursday, September 28, 2023, when Bill will arrive at his final resting place at the Ocheyedan Township Cemetery. The family will also scatter some ashes at special places in Okoboji, Fenton, and Cherokee. His funeral and reception will be at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church on Friday, September 29, 2023 at 11:00 A.M. in Cherokee, Iowa. Memorials may be given in Bill’s honor to the Sanford Museum, Cherokee Public Library, and St. Paul’s United Methodist Church. The Greenwood-Schubert Funeral Home in Cherokee, IA, is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be sent to the family at

William H. Jentz, 84, of Cherokee, Iowa, died Saturday September 2, 2023, at Cherokee Regional Medical Center in Cherokee, Iowa. Bill passed away peacefully, at the same hospital where his twin daughters were born, surrounded by his wife and daughters.

William “Bill” H. Jentz III was born on January 24, 1939, in Whittemore, IA to Jessie (Norland) and William H. Jentz. He grew up on a farm northeast of Fenton, IA. It was on this farm that Bill learned the importance of family, friends, hard work, and his love for the outdoors. Bill’s great grandfather bought the farm in 1886. Four generations of Jentzes lived on this farm, which was recognized as a century farm in 1986 at the Iowa State Fair.

Bill was baptized on March 12, 1939, and confirmed by the same pastor on March 29, 1953 at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Fenton. Bill attended a Lutheran parochial school in Fenton during his younger years as well as Fenton High School. His class
was the first class to graduate from Sentral of Fenton High school, in May 1957. Bill graduated from Estherville Junior College in May 1959 and from Iowa State Teacher’s College (now the University of Northern Iowa) in June 1961. He received a bachelor of arts
degree in social science secondary education with a minor in biology.

Bill then moved to Cherokee, Iowa, to teach 7th grade social studies and geography at Wilson Junior High School. Bill met Judy Weaver at Wilson Junior High, where she taught 6th grade English. They were married on June 26, 1966, in Ocheyedan, Iowa at the Ocheyedan Methodist Church..  Bill and Judy lived in a cottage at the Methodist Camp in Okoboji, Iowa, during the summers of 1966-1968 while Bill worked as a lake patrolman. Bill enjoyed sharing many humorous stories of his time spent working for the lake patrol. Bill and Judy spent their summers from 1969-1971 in Colorado while Bill took summer school classes at Western State College in Gunnison, Colorado. Bill graduated with a Master of Arts degree in guidance and counseling in August 1971.

Bill and Judy thought they would be expecting their first child in March 1974. They received the biggest surprise of their lives when their twin daughters, Natalie Jean and Nicole Jayne, were born at Sioux Valley Memorial Hospital (now Cherokee Regional Medical Center) on February 23, 1974. Bill was an involved father and very proud of his girls. He never passed up an opportunity to tell people about them and about the day they were born. Bill and Judy drove all night to be in Louisville, Kentucky, for
the arrival of their first grandchild, Justin William, on April 18, 2008. Bill was so excited to have a grandson and was honored that this child was named after him. Bill and Judy received another unexpected surprise when they learned they were not only
parents of twins, but they would become grandparents of twins when Kristin Nicole and Gavin Thomas were born on June 29, 2011, in Louisville, Kentucky.

Bill and Judy purchased their Okoboji condo at Lighthouse Point on Labor Day weekend in 1988. Countless memories were made swimming, boating, eating out, fishing, enjoying picnics and happy hours, and spending time with family and friends. Bill’s sister, Janice Bare, and her family also bought a condo at the same complex. Bill passed away on Labor Day weekend, 35 years after he and Judy purchased their beloved condo.

Bill taught 7th grade geography at Wilson Junior High in Cherokee for 36 1/2 years, retiring in January 1998. Bill’s daughters had the privilege of having their dad for a teacher. Bill taught on the second floor of a three story brown, brick, non-air conditioned
building along Highway 59 near Main Street. He taught the same grade, the same subject, in the same classroom, and at the same school for his entire teaching career. Bill told numerous stories about teaching, supervising study halls, bus and lunch room
duties, working at after school sporting events, and pranks played on new teachers.  Bill formed many lifelong friendships with teachers and staff from this school. Bill also farmed his family’s farm on weekends and summers from 1975 to 2012. In
2013, he made the decision to rent the farmland, sell the machinery and retire from farming.  Bill and Judy both worked on a traveling Hallmark installation team from 1997 to 2008. They enjoyed traveling with their team members to different
towns in Iowa and the surrounding states. 

Bill was a member of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Cherokee, Iowa. He was a member of the Cherokee Lion’s Club and also a member and past master of Speculative Lodge #307 A.F. and A.M. in Cherokee. He was also a member of three York Rite bodies: Burning Bush Chapter #90 of Royal Arch Masons, Crusade Commander #39 Knights Templar, and Tomahawk Council #57. Bill was also a noble of the Abu Bekr Shrine Oasis of Sioux City. He was on the Sanford Museum Association Board, Cherokee Library Board, and the Lighthouse Point Owner’s Association Board at Okoboji for many years. He and Judy also enjoyed delivering
mobile meals.

Bill will be remembered for his patience, kind heart, willingness to help others, sense of humor, unique chortle-like laugh, devotion to his church, family, and friends and contributions to his community. Bill had many hobbies and interests. He enjoyed farming, riding his motorcycle and snowmobile, hunting, fishing, camping, holidays and special occasions, card club, traveling and vacations, reading, and having coffee with the guys. Bill especially enjoyed visiting his daughters, sons-in-law, and grandchildren. He and Judy made many trips to Texas and Kentucky. Bill had very special relationships with his children and grandchildren. Bill loved spending time with them and didn’t want to miss out on their many events and special occasions. He enjoyed playing, reading, teasing, fishing, and talking with his grandchildren about every topic you can imagine. Bill instilled a love of knowledge and fishing in each grandchild.

Bill was preceded in death by his parents Jessie (Norland) and William H. Jentz, paternal grandparents Anna (Meyer) and William H. Jentz,  maternal grandparents Johanna “Jennie” (Surbo) and Martin Norland, brother-in-law Keith Bare, and various
other relatives. 

Bill will be remembered by his loving wife of 57 years, Judy Weaver Jentz, his twin daughters, Natalie (Brian) Ross and Nicole (Jim) Dederich, three grandchildren, Justin, Kristin, and Gavin Ross all of Buckner, KY, sister, Janice Jentz Bare of Emmetsburg, IA, niece, Leslie (Gary) Weaver Moss of Lubbock, TX, nephews, Ryan (Amanda) Bare of Spencer, IA, and Scott Bare of Houston, TX, brother-in-law, Bill (Shirley) Weaver of Savannah, GA, as well as several great nieces and nephews, other relatives and friends.





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Past Services

Memorial Service

Friday, September 29, 2023

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

St Paul's United Methodist Church

531 W Main St, Cherokee, IA 51012

Memorial services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Friday, September 29, 2023, at St. Paul's United Methodist Church in Cherokee, IA.

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