2018-07-13 / Obituaries

David Wentworth

David Files Wentworth, beloved husband of Barbara Leggett Wentworth, died on Tuesday Feb. 6, 2018 in Durham, North Carolina. Dave was born in Portland, Maine, to Edward R. Wentworth and Bernice Pitts Wentworth on March 25, 1936. His growing up years were spent on the Wentworth Farm at Kennebunk Beach. After graduating from Kennebunk High School, Dave obtained degrees in geology from the University of Vermont, chemistry from the University of Maine, a master’s (bacteriology), University of Maine and a PhD (bacteriology) from Duke University, after which he worked on important post-doctoral research at Duke and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. David and Barbara married while still at University of Vermont then lived in Boston prior to David’s interesting army experiences while stationed at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. This was followed by two years of teaching high school chemistry, physics and general science on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Shortly before 1980, Dave joined his wife’s Book and Antique business. In March of 1982 it became Wentworth & Leggett Bookshop and one of the original shops in Brightleaf Square in Durham. From 1982 to 1995, David and wife Barbara issued an annual catalogue in Medicine & Science with much success until Dave’s severe stroke in December 1995. Extensive therapy and family support led to a long and happy life where he remained an integral part of the bookstore. Dave had an amazing eye for the “best” in books and he was an important partner in the purchase of many outstanding collections over the years. Many friends, relatives and customers remember the twinkle in his eye and his dry sense of humor whether in the bookshop, at a book fair or working on a project. David was an avid college sports fan especially cheering on the Duke Blue Devils, but also other Atlantic Coast Conference schools and beyond. Watching PGA golf tournaments, the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox baseball games and the winter and summer Olympics were also favorite pastimes. Many hobbies held his interest including gardening, refinishing furniture and small carpentry projects such as making special bookcases and containers for the bookshop and constructing a handsome bookroom in the barn on their former property. Dave was predeceased by his parents, a brother Daniel Hart Wentworth, a half-sister Barbara Garrison, a half-brother Kennard Lewis, his favorite dog Larchmont and several cats especially Susan and Jake. He is survived by his wife Barbara, his son Jonathan Scott Wentworth of Raleigh and Durham, his daughter Wendy Wentworth Kesselring and her husband, Kyle James Kesselring of Oak Ridge North Carolina and much loved grandchildren Ashley Wentworth Kesselring (Berry College, Mt. Berry, Georgia), Stephanie Elizabeth Kesselring (Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama) and James Dylan Kesselring of Oakridge, North Carolina. Also many nieces, nephews and cousins. A special thank you to Dave’s longtime personal physician Dr. John T. Kihm, Duke Regional Hospital, Pettigrew Rehabilitation’s Palliative Care team and Heartland Hospice for all the care and support over the past few months. A graveside memorial service with family, relatives and friends will be held this summer at the Evergreen Cemetery in Kennebunk on Wednesday, July 18, 2018 at 11 a.m. Remembrances in Dave’s name may be made to the Duke Cancer Center (www.gifts.duke.edu/medpp) or to the Friends of the Durham Public Library, P.O. Box 3809, Durham, NC 27702.

To share a memory or leave a message of condolence, please visit David’s Book of Memories Page at www.bibberfuneral.com.

Local arrangements are in care of Bibber Memorial Chapel, Kennebunk.

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