James Ervin Lentz

03/15/1915 — 06/09/2002

From Pasco, WA, US | Born in Cherokee, Oklahoma

James Ervin Lentz

The local farming community lost one of its most dedicated pioneers with the death of James Jim Ervin Lentz.  He passed away Sunday, June 9, 2002, at Hospice House in Kennewick surrounded by his family, friends and compassionate Hospice nurses.  He was 87 years young.

Jim was born to Jake and Ocho Lentz in Alfalfa County on a farm south of Cherokee, Oklahoma on March 30, 1915.  He was a middle child with 4 brothers and 1 sister.  Jim graduated from Pawnee High School and junior college.  He met his future wife, Audna, while in college, and she was in high school.  To pay for college, Jim worked in a hometown café and a drycleaners.  After college, he was employed as a clerk in the Pawnee County Treasurer’s Office, where Audna also worked.  They married on June 29, 1940, in Pawnee and would have celebrated their 62nd year anniversary the end of this month.

Blessed with a strong work ethic from his father, Jake, and being raised on a farm, Jim continued to seek more challenging jobs.  He and Audna moved to Pryor, OK where Jim began working for DuPont and was transferred in 1944 to Richland, WA working then for General Electric.  In 1954, Jim purchased a 60-acre farm in Block 1 of the Columbia Basin Irrigation Project and continued to work a full-time job at Hanford while starting to farm.  In the mid-seventies, he fulfilled his life-long dream and retired from Hanford to become a full-time farmer.  In 1977, Jim and Audna moved to their present farm home north of Pasco on 395 Highway.

Although farming was both a career and a hobby, Jim’s other love next to his family was Country-Western music.  He was truly an expert in this arena, reciting song writers as well as singers plus all the “nitty gritty” about their lives, when and how they died, etc.  He especially loved a Sunday morning radio program called “Legends of Country” on K.O.R.D. with Ed Dailey, disc jockey.  Because of this, he asked, prior to his death, that Ed Dailey preside over his funeral.

Jim was a beautiful person inside and out.  He was caring and compassionate and raised his daughters with love and kindness.  He instilled respect, empathy and always sharing whatever we had with others.  Jim “emotionally” adopted several sons and daughters who benefited from his love and also considered him their “Papa”.

Jim had a special quality:  he always had a kind word for or about every single person, including the ones shunned by others.  He wanted everyone to feel good about themselves and would find some positive in everyone.  He loved peaceful times and despised harsh or unkind words; there’s no place for meanness in this world!

He was a proud but kind man who loved most everyone, and they in turn loved him.  In Dr. Stanley Hale’s words the day before Dad died of cancer, “Jim, you are a ‘class act’ and it’s been a pleasure and an honor to be your doctor.  You are a ‘one and only’!”  Thank you God for loaning this wonderful father, husband and friend to us these 87 blessed years.  We will all miss you so much!

I Am Free Don’t grieve for me, for now I’m free, I am following the path God laid for me. I took His hand when I heard Him call, I turned my back and left it all.

I could not stay another day, To laugh, to love, to work, or play. Tasks undone must stay that way, I found that peace at the close of day.

If my parting has left a void, Then fill it with remembered joy. A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss, All these things I too will miss.

Be not burdened with time of sorrow, I wish for you a great tomorrow. My life’s been full,, I savored much, Good friends, good times, a loved one touched.

Perhaps my time seemed all too brief, Don’t lengthen it now with undue grief. Lift up your hearts and share with me, God wanted me now, He set me free.

Jim is survived by his wife, Audna Lentz; daughters, Janet Taggares of Othello and Marcia Tom Crigler of Pasco; granddaughter, Joni Poole and great grandsons, Armand and Madison Poole, all of Seattle; brothers, Logan Lentz of Ames, OK and John Lentz of Pahrump, NV; brothers-in-law and wives, Ivan and Jane Custer of Boise, ID, Leonard G. and Judy Custer of Denver, CO, LeRoy and Barbara Custer of Boise, ID; sister-in-law, Secene Lentz of Pawnee, OK; and numerous nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Jake and Ocho Lentz; sister, Winnifred Whitman; and brothers, Tom and Chet Lentz.

Open casket viewing will be held at Einan’s Funeral Home, 915 By-pass Highway, Richland on Thursday, June 13, 2002, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Friday, June 14, 2002, at Einan’s with Ed Dailey – Legends of Country – KORD officiating.  A reception will follow the funeral at Meadow Springs Country Club, 700 Country Club Place, Richland, WA 99352 627-2234.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Jim’s memory to the Tri-Cities Chaplaincy Hospice House, 2108 W. Entiat Ave., Kennewick, WA 99336.

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James Ervin Lentz

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  • Dear Aunda and family,

    Our dearest condolences to you and your family in this time. I just want to say that Jim was extraordinary

    man with a gentle heart. My father and our family have been honored and blessed to have had Jim in our lives.

    My father has a nickname that was given to him by Jim, which to date farmers still call him by that name

    which is “Tex”. He will always be close to our hearts for those that our dear to us will never be forgotten.

    Love, Mr. & Mrs. Israel Gutierrez, Ramon, Cesar, & Janie Gutierrez

    JanieGutierrez Vickerman
    November 4, 2014
    Benton, City, WA, US
  • Dear Audna and family,

    We will always have a special place in our hearts for you and Jim and the fun times we shared. May God bless and surround you and your family with his caring love.

    Love, Dick and Barb

    Dick and Barb Black
    November 4, 2014
    Pasco, WA, US
  • Janet,

    Kindest condolences to you and your family at this time. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Kind regards, Laurie Jecha-Beard at McCain Foods USA

    Laurie Jecha-Beard
    November 4, 2014
    Oak, Brook, IL, US
  • I really never got to know Jim until his daughter, Janet, stepped in as President of P. J. Taggares Company after her husband, my boss for 20 years, passed away. Even though I didn’t know Jim well, I found him to be a very pleasant and interesting man those few times I was around him. I was fortunate to be able to attend his and Audna’s 60th wedding anniversary celebration two years ago. I know Jim will be greatly missed no only by his family but also by all his many friends who thought the world of him.

    Barbara Hatfield

    Barbara Hatfield
    November 4, 2014
    Othello, WA, US
  • June 13, 2002

    Audna,

    Your husband is one of the nicest and kindest person I have ever known. He always made me feel good and important. I think kindness is underrated by most people, but it is the one thing that recognizes the uniqueness and importance of each individual. Jim always had a way of putting his full attention on those he visited with.

    I consider Jim a great friend who would always do the right thing on all occasions. He proved that to me many times and I have many wonderful memories to cherish. One of the best was spending a whole day riding with Jim as we checked on potato fields from sun up to dark. Jim always made me laugh at the common things in life. What an important gift that was to all who knew him.

    Sincerely

    Ty Ballinger

    Ty Ballinger
    November 4, 2014
    Moses, Lake, WA, US
  • My dad Bill and Jim became aquainted in the mid forties when he went to work for DuPont. He helped Jim build a motel here in Pasco before he sold it and bought a farm in block 1. He always liked to tease me about when I was a youngster I was under their kitchen table and their dog cocker spaniel I think was barking at me. I remember the many trips my dad and I made to Jim and Audna’s over the years. I have many more memories of working on the farm through my school years and beyond. His warm and gentle smile will be missed, Sincerely, Marvin Mabry

    Marvin Mabry
    November 4, 2014
    Pasco, WA, US
  • Dearest Audna,Janet,J.Lee,Armand and Madison, We send our deepest regrets. We are so sorry to hear about Jim. He was such a wonderful man.We felt it was such a privilege to meet him at Thanksgiving, that was a very special time for us! Were so sorry we couldn’t be with you today, but we want you to know that our thoughts and prayers and love are with all of you. Love Greg,Connie and Ashley

    Greg & Connie & Gustafson& Ashley Steelman
    November 4, 2014
    Prosser, WA, US
  • Dear Aunda and family,

    Our dearest condolences to you and your family in this time. I just want to say that Jim was extraordinary

    man with a gentle heart. My father and our family have been honored and blessed to have had Jim in our lives.

    My father has a nickname that was given to him by Jim, which to date farmers still call him by that name

    which is “Tex”. He will always be close to our hearts for those that our dear to us will never be forgotten.

    Love, Mr. & Mrs. Israel Gutierrez, Ramon, Cesar, & Janie Gutierrez

    JanieGutierrez Vickerman
    November 4, 2014
    Benton, City, WA, US
  • Dear Audna and family,

    We will always have a special place in our hearts for you and Jim and the fun times we shared. May God bless and surround you and your family with his caring love.

    Love, Dick and Barb

    Dick and Barb Black
    November 4, 2014
    Pasco, WA, US
  • Janet,

    Kindest condolences to you and your family at this time. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Kind regards, Laurie Jecha-Beard at McCain Foods USA

    Laurie Jecha-Beard
    November 4, 2014
    Oak, Brook, IL, US
  • I really never got to know Jim until his daughter, Janet, stepped in as President of P. J. Taggares Company after her husband, my boss for 20 years, passed away. Even though I didn’t know Jim well, I found him to be a very pleasant and interesting man those few times I was around him. I was fortunate to be able to attend his and Audna’s 60th wedding anniversary celebration two years ago. I know Jim will be greatly missed no only by his family but also by all his many friends who thought the world of him.

    Barbara Hatfield

    Barbara Hatfield
    November 4, 2014
    Othello, WA, US
  • June 13, 2002

    Audna,

    Your husband is one of the nicest and kindest person I have ever known. He always made me feel good and important. I think kindness is underrated by most people, but it is the one thing that recognizes the uniqueness and importance of each individual. Jim always had a way of putting his full attention on those he visited with.

    I consider Jim a great friend who would always do the right thing on all occasions. He proved that to me many times and I have many wonderful memories to cherish. One of the best was spending a whole day riding with Jim as we checked on potato fields from sun up to dark. Jim always made me laugh at the common things in life. What an important gift that was to all who knew him.

    Sincerely

    Ty Ballinger

    Ty Ballinger
    November 4, 2014
    Moses, Lake, WA, US
  • My dad Bill and Jim became aquainted in the mid forties when he went to work for DuPont. He helped Jim build a motel here in Pasco before he sold it and bought a farm in block 1. He always liked to tease me about when I was a youngster I was under their kitchen table and their dog cocker spaniel I think was barking at me. I remember the many trips my dad and I made to Jim and Audna’s over the years. I have many more memories of working on the farm through my school years and beyond. His warm and gentle smile will be missed, Sincerely, Marvin Mabry

    Marvin Mabry
    November 4, 2014
    Pasco, WA, US
  • Dearest Audna,Janet,J.Lee,Armand and Madison, We send our deepest regrets. We are so sorry to hear about Jim. He was such a wonderful man.We felt it was such a privilege to meet him at Thanksgiving, that was a very special time for us! Were so sorry we couldn’t be with you today, but we want you to know that our thoughts and prayers and love are with all of you. Love Greg,Connie and Ashley

    Greg & Connie & Gustafson& Ashley Steelman
    November 4, 2014
    Prosser, WA, US
  • Dear Audna and family,

    I am very sorry to hear about Jim. I kept up with his illness through Logan. I always enjoyed coming out to Pasco with my parents and getting to watch them dig for spuds. Jim was a very gracious and find man. You all have my sympathy.

    Jack D. Hammer

    Jack D. Hammer
    November 4, 2014
    Enid, OK, US
  • Dear Audna-

    We really will miss Jim. We loved to work with him. If you need anything, please don’t hesitate to call.

    Your friends.

    Tom and Marylu

    Tom and Marylu Dickey
    November 4, 2014
    Kennewick, WA, US
  • I just finished reading Jim’s obituary in the newspaper and found it quite touching. Although I hardly knew him, I’ve heard alot of good things about him from my husband, Bryan. Jim always remembered that my family was from Oklahoma,too, and would comment on it whenever Bryan and I ran into him and Audna–usually at the Pasco Red Lion/Double Tree/West Coast having dinner. I can truly feel your loss and I sympathize with you.

    Warm personal regards,

    Brenda Alford

    Brenda Alford
    November 4, 2014
    Pasco, WA, US
  • Dear Audna, Janet and Marcia,

    I can only echo the description of Jim’s kindness and positive outlook. As Janet’s friend, I always felt accepted as a family member – loved, teased, fed, etc. It was an honor and a delight to know Jim. I’m so grateful for the recent visit I had with you and Jim, Audna. I’m so sorry I can’t be with you for the services. My love and thoughts will be with you.

    Sue

    Sue Moffett Rumsey
    November 4, 2014
    Edmonds, WA, US
  • Dear Ones, Our hearts go out to you in this time of your loss. Jim was such a dear sweet kind man. You have such wonderful memories of him. We are so sorry we can’t be with you at this time. We love you.

    Stanley & Dolores Taggares
    November 4, 2014
    US