Kenneth Wantling

[ Age 68 ] Mathematician who taught at area colleges was also an avid sailor

November 06, 2006

Kenneth D. Wantling, who taught mathematics at Maryland colleges over three decades, died of prostate cancer Friday at his home in Chestertown. He was 68.

He retired as a professor of mathematics at Washington College in Chestertown in 1997. He taught and served as an academic dean at Montgomery College in Rockville in the 1970s and 1980s.

Before moving to Maryland, he headed the math department of a technical college in Chattanooga, Tenn., and was the assistant principal of a high school in that city.

Throughout his career, Mr. Wantling also took side jobs to supplement his family's income. When he was an assistant principal in Tennessee, for example, he also drove a school bus and taught summer school.

Through work and investments, he sought to ensure the financial security of his eldest daughter, Cynthia L. Wantling, who was born blind and mentally retarded, according to family members.

"His focus was to make sure everybody was taken care of," said his son, William D. Wantling of Frederick.

The family moved from Tennessee to Maryland so Cynthia Wantling could attend the Maryland School for the Blind in Baltimore.

Mr. Wantling was an avid sailor who chartered numerous boating trips for his family and was particularly fond of sailing in Maine's Penobscot Bay.

He served on the Advisory Board of Holly Center, the state-run residential facility for disabled people in Salisbury, where his daughter lives.

He was also a member of the Patient Advisory Board of Blue Cross and Blue Shield and a member of Voices of the Retarded, a nonprofit advocacy organization.

He was born in Columbus, Ohio and grew up in Norris, Tenn. He graduated from high school in Beirut, Lebanon, where his father was stationed in the U.S. Foreign Service.

He earned a bachelor's degree in mathematics from the University of Tennessee in 1959 and went on to earn master's degrees from Tennessee and George Washington University. He also served in the Navy Reserve as a research statistician. He married Virginia "Ginger" C. Moore in 1962. She died in 2002.

Services will be held at 1 p.m. Dec. 6 at Fellows, Helfenbein and Newnam Funeral Home, 130 Speer Road, Chestertown.

In addition to his son and daughter, he is survived by another daughter, Nicole D. Wantling of Longmont, Colo.; a brother, Brian D. Wantling of Richmond, Va.; and three grandchildren.

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