Longtime Sharon Springs, Kansas resident, Jack Leroy Wertz, 80, passed away on February 26, 2017 at the Wallace County Community Care Center in Sharon Springs.
Jack was born on November 20, 1936 in Sharon Springs to Claude DeClifton and Freda (Walker) Wertz. He was second of four children. Jack grew up in Sharon Springs and graduated from Sharon Springs High School in 1955. After high school, Jack rented some farm ground near his dad’s ground. He was also the janitor at the brand new high school building that had been built in Sharon Springs. When the new Brunswick Bowling alley was built in town, he helped run it for 3 ½ years and then bought it. He only owned it for a short time, after realizing how many hours went in to running it; he sold it back to the original owner.
In 1956, after being introduced by mutual friends, Jack met Patricia Ann Huff. Their first date was bowling and being surrounded by Jack’s whole family. They dated for a year and a half, and were married on July 9, 1961, at the High Plains Baptist Church in Sharon Springs. In 1964, they moved to Hays. Jack took classes and Pat taught school. While in Hays, Jack started the Homer B. Reed program that helped people with mental and physical disabilities. He ran the program and Pat helped raise money to fund it.
From Hays, they moved to Port Angeles in the NW corner of Washington State. There is where Jack started his construction business, J.L. Wertz Construction, with “a hammer, saw and a few nails”. He continued to run this business for 40 years until retiring in 1997.
After retiring, Jack and Pat bought a home in a retirement community in Texas and lived on a golf course. They enjoyed going to dances, playing cards, and even going to the race track to watch the dog and ponies run. During their marriage, Jack and Pat traveled extensively. They spent nine weeks traveling the United States by bus; they spent 21 days in China, and have been to Spain, Greece, Italy, Russia and Egypt. One of his most memorable trips was when they took his sisters Bev and Claudine on an RV trip and saw the sights of the Eastern United States.
In 2011, Jack and Pat moved back to Sharon Springs to be near family. Since moving back, they have enjoyed each other’s company. Their lives were filled with joy and laughter. Jack always said that the meaning to life is to have someone to share it with.
Preceding him in death were his parents and a brother-in-law Glenn Coker.
He is survived by his wife Pat of Sharon Springs, one daughter Tammy Laughlin (Gary) of Floresville, Texas, two sisters Claudine Coker and Bev Henderson of Sharon Springs, and one brother Don Wertz of Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Wallace County Community Care Center
Memorials may be left at the service or mailed to Koons-Russell Funeral Home, 211 N. Main Ave., Goodland KS 67735