Charlie Lentz honored with accolades and mayor’s proclamation

Charlie Lentz with his granddaughter Kimberly Bunkley, Mayor Pro Tem Vivian Burke and son Charlie Lentz Jr. at his 100th birthday celebration on Feb. 2.­

Charlie Lentz honored with accolades and mayor’s proclamation
February 07
00:30 2019

By Judie Holcomb-Pack

Nearly 100 people attended the 100th birthday celebration for Charlie Jasper Lentz on Saturday evening, Feb. 2, at the Village Inn and Conference Center in Clemmons. As guests were introduced and recognized, it appeared that they were all family in some way – either his children, grandchildren, uncles, aunts, cousins, children and grandchildren of uncles and cousins, and one guest who declared that SHE had adopted Mr. Lentz as her uncle and not the other way around.

The love for not only Mr. Lentz but each other filled the room. Family and friends came from as far away as Maryland, Virginia and New York to join in the celebration of his special day.

The mistress of ceremony, Carolyn White, described Mr. Lentz as a “walking miracle,” a description that was used throughout the evening. She mentioned that he has never had any major hospitalizations or illnesses and is always “calm, cool and collected.”

In his reflection about his dad, Charlie Lentz Jr. said, “… I’ve never seen him get angry or get seriously upset with anyone … Thank you Daddy for teaching me how to be a real man.”

Mayor Allen Joines also had kind words to say about Mr. Lentz before he read a proclamation declaring Feb. 3 as Charlie Lentz Day. As he presented the proclamation to Mr. Lentz, there was applause and a standing ovation for a man who has obviously and positively influenced numerous lives.

Mayor Pro Tem Vivian Burke was also in attendance and spoke highly of the Lentz family saying, “We are blessed just to be in his company. All of us join the mayor to say ‘This is your day!’”

Mr. Lentz’s primary care physician, Dr. David Miller of Wake Forest Baptist, was introduced and he said that Mr. Lentz had been his patient for 14 years and noted, “ … that seems like a long time, but when you live to 100, 14 years isn’t very long.” He said he had looked up his doctor’s notes from his first visit with Mr. Lentz and read: “Mr. Lentz is a delightful 86-year-old man.”

He remembered asking Mr. Lentz during the first visit how he arrived at the office. Did he drive? No, he answered. Did a friend or family member bring you? No, again. He asked, then how did he get here and he was taken aback when Mr. Lentz replied, “I walked.” He asked how far that was and Mr. Lentz said, “About a mile.” He said that Mr. Lentz was the “Miracle Walker.” He mentioned that at the age of 93 he finally convinced him to get a cane, but that another doctor had done even better when he convinced him to get a walker. Then he added, “I’ve never seen him use it.”

Dr. Miller said he has determined, “ … several keys to living to 100: Taking care of yourself and walking every day; having a happy heart; honoring the Lord; and having a great family.”

Angel (Wyvern) Anthony gave a brief history of Mr. Lentz and noted that he enlisted in the Army in 1941 during the Second World War and served until the war ended in 1945, receiving seven medals and ribbons for his military service.  His family moved to Winston-Salem after the war ended and that is when he met his wife, Bernice, and his children Charles and Gale were born. Mr. Lentz served 26 years at the United States Post Office on Fifth Street, where he retired as chief of security, then he worked five more years at the Federal Building downtown and retired a second time. He has attended Goler Metropolitan AME Zion Church for 74 years.

Rev. Johnny Ruff, pastor of Goler Metropolitan, also praised Mr. Lentz and said, “There are a lot of people who are alive, but are not living. We salute you today.” Mr. Lentz still attends church faithfully every Sunday.

Mr. Lentz did not seem at all fazed by the accolades and attention he received. When asked what was the most significant change you’ve seen in the world in your 100 years, he answered, “The races have gotten so much closer.” When asked what he attributed his longevity to, he said, “I don’t have the answer to that because I done most of the things young people do today.”

A man of few words, after a little thought, he gave this advice: “Put God first in your life. Let him be your leader.”

And to those in attendance, he said, “The celebration doesn’t end here. I invite you all to join me at church tomorrow.”

The Chronicle honors Mr. Charlie Lentz on the occasion of his 100th birthday and wishes him continued happiness and good health in the future.

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