Arrangements set for Phil Wentworth
September 06, 2019
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Philip Barclay Wentworth, 76, of Guys Mills died on Sept. 4, 2019 at Wesbury United Methodist Retirement Community following a recent hospitalization.
Phil was born in Meadville on Feb. 4, 1943 to Sally and Gaylord Wentworth. He graduated from Randolph-East Mead High School in 1961 and attended Baldwin Wallace College. He served in the U.S. Army from 1964-1966 as a military policeman and was stationed in Fairbanks, Alaska. He was a member of the Mt. Hope United Methodist Church, the Black Ash Sportsmen, the American Harness Racing Secretaries Association and the United States Trotting Association.
Phil developed a devoted love for horses at a very young age, a trait fostered by his grandfather, Harry Wentworth, who owned harness racing horses. Phil’s career centered on the harness racing industry, beginning with a brief period as a driver/trainer working for Billy Haughton, one of the top drivers/trainers at the time in harness racing.
While Phil achieved a successful win record as a driver, he enrolled in the USTA Officials School in 1967 to become certified as a harness racing official. He found great satisfaction and joy in his life’s work officiating at harness racing meets, first as an assistant racing secretary, then as a racing secretary and eventually as a judge. These positions took him throughout the East Coast, the South (Louisville and Lexington, KY), and the Midwest as well as Ontario and western Canada (Calgary, Winnipeg and Saskatoon).
Phil officiated at two of the largest harness racing facilities in the U.S. at the time: the Meadowlands in East Rutherford, NJ and Foxboro Raceway in the Boston area (site now home to the New England Patriots). His longest tenure was at Pocono Downs in Wilkes Barre, PA. During the off seasons of harness racing, Phil worked for the USTA. He retired in 2009 from officiating at Ocean Downs, MD and Colonial Downs, VA. Phil is remembered by colleagues during his working years for his incredible memory of statistics for horse lineages, owners and race win times.
Hunting, fishing and golfing with his buddies were also lifelong interests of Phil’s. Just like his grandfather before him, Phil loved owning harness racing horses in retirement and watching them develop and race. During his last two months of life, he was blessed to enjoy some good rounds of golf and to watch on television one of his horses race for the first time which left him with a big smile.
Phil is survived by his sister, Anne W. Brill (Downey) of Cary, NC; nieces, Mary Kathleen Brill (Karim) of San Francisco, CA and Meredith Brierly (Frank) of Cary, NC; nephew, Downey Brill (Lauren) of Apex, NC; great nephews, Evan, Alex and Parker Brierly; great niece, Samantha DiMartino and several cousins.
Calling hours will be Sunday, September 8th from 1-3 p.m. at the ROBERT W. WAID FUNERAL HOME, 581 CHESTNUT ST., MEADVILLE where the funeral service will follow at 3 p.m. with the Rev. Alice McClymonds, Pastor of Mt. Hope United Methodist Church, officiating.
Interment will be in the Mt. Hope Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that any desired donations be made to the American Heart Association, 444 Liberty Ave., Suite 1300, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, the American Diabetes Association, 112 Washington Place, Suite 1520, Pittsburgh, PA 15219 or the charity of one’s choice.
Memories and condolences may be shared at www.waidfuneralhome.net.
(Waid Funeral Home)