Cover photo for Elwood  R. (Woody)  Wertz's Obituary
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1922 Elwood 2017

Elwood R. (Woody) Wertz

December 4, 1922 — February 23, 2017

Elwood R. “Woody” Wertz, 94, formerly of Penrose Street, Harrisburg, was taken to be with the Lord on Thursday, February 23, 2017 at the Jewish Home of Greater Harrisburg.

He was a registered architect who worked in offices in Hazelton, Wilkes-Barre and Binghamton as well as in industry in Berwick, before coming to Harrisburg.  His father, W. Albert Wertz and mother, Prudence (Fedder) Wertz, both deceased, were Berwick natives and he was born on his mother’s twentieth birthday, December 4, 1922.  He was their only child.  By his high school years, he had become “first chair” in the clarinet section of the concert band.  Under the direction of its talented conductor, Russell Lewellyn, the band competed in National contests in Chicago, Cleveland and New York -  always being graded among the top ten percent of those participating.  This interest led him to be a regular at the Harrisburg Symphony Concerts and other area musical offerings.

After graduation with the Class of 1940 at Berwick High School, he attended the Dean School of Business in Kingston.  War impending, he worked in the metallurgical laboratory at the Army tank plant at the American Car and Foundry Co. facility in Berwick until enlisting in the service in 1941.  His business education led him to become secretary to the joint chiefs of the American group in charge of Movement Control and Build-up Control of all men and material in Northern Europe.  Large, room-sized machines which then would have been called book-keeping machines, allowed them to assemble and move groups as small as a company or as large as a division - over land or over water.

His education restarted towards an architect career:  basic engineering at West Virginia University, art at Carnegie Tech, then a B.S. of Architecture at Penn State in 1950.  He registered to practice in Pennsylvania and worked as an architectural draftsman with the General State Authority where he became a leader in producing standards for critical design items and for specifications.  Later, having become Assistant Director of Engineering, he was a leader in the effort include pre-planning as a regular part of the design process, allowing basic layout and material selection to be developed as based for establishing costs and for shortening “final” design time after legislative approval and funding.  When inflation was rising at 11% per year, saving time after funding was established was a matter of millions when the construction program amounted to $130+Million annually.

When Woody first came to Harrisburg, he was active in clubs at the Central YMCA and president of the resident’s club.  Susquehanna Township Golden Age Club elected him president of the county to develop the senior citizen transportation facility and devised a name for its “Indian Wheels”.  Woody served as president of the Central Penn Chapter of PARSE (Pennsylvania Association of Retired State Employees).  He also served as tour director-leader for the Golden Agers and PARSE.

Memberships were held in Knapp Lodge No. 462 F&AM, Berwick, the Harrisburg Consistory, the Zembo Shrine and Paxton Presbyterian Church.

Woody was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Marguerite Spiece Wertz.  There were no children.  Survivors are cousins and many dear friends, especially Gary Myers and Rachel Irvin and their families.

Funeral services will be held 11:00 AM Tuesday, March 7, 2017 at Paxton Presbyterian Church, 3500 Sharon Street, Harrisburg, PA, 17111, with the Rev. John W. Green officiating.  There will be a viewing at the church from 10:00 AM until 10:45 AM, at which time a Masonic Service will be held.

Burial will be in the family plot in the Pine Grove Annex Cemetery, Berwick, at 2:00 PM Tuesday.

Contributions may be made to his church.

Kimmel Funeral Home, Harrisburg, is handling arrangements.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Elwood R. (Woody) Wertz, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Tuesday, March 7, 2017

10:00 - 10:45 am (Eastern time)

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Masonic Service

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Starts at 10:45 am (Eastern time)

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Funeral Service

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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