Edward Mentzer, Class of 1958

Posted Mar 03, 2020

Mentzer Ed Obit  3

Edward L. “Ed” Mentzer ’58 died February 24, 2020. Ed earned his Bachelor of Science in mathematics at Otterbein in 1958. He ran track, was a member of Zeta Phi, Varsity O and ROTC. He also met his wife, Constance “Connie” Myers Mentzer ’60. They married in 1959; Ed entered the U.S. Air Force after graduation and served for 27 years as a pilot and flight instructor, flying more than 4,750 hours in 13 kinds of airplanes and flying 112 combat missions in Vietnam, earning the Bronze Star, Distinguished Flying Cross and many other decorations.

The Air Force sent Ed to Southern Methodist University to earn a master’s degree in operations research; he credited his excellent math foundation at Otterbein as preparation for that work. Ed’s final years of service were at Wright-Patterson AFB in Dayton, where he headed up the International Division of the F-16 program. Promoted to the rank of colonel, Ed retired from the Air Force in 1985.

After retirement from the Air Force, Ed was Midwest regional marketing manager for Norden Systems, then a consultant with Modern Technologies Corporation. He retired “for good” in 1998, and reconnected with Otterbein University through the Alumni Relations office. He served on the National Alumni Association Executive Committee for eight years and was president of the Association from 1994-96, serving also on the Otterbein Board of Trustees from 1996-1998.

Ed and Connie belong to a multi-generation Otterbein family, including their daughter Lisa Mentzer Carter ’85, granddaughter Rebecca Carter ‘15 and Connie’s late father, Robert Myers ’31, a lifelong Westerville resident and math major who also worked many years as business manager at Otterbein. A gift from Robert Myers’ estate in 1999, with support from Connie and Ed, endowed The Robert and Agnes Myers Memorial Scholarship to support math majors at Otterbein. The fund has now become The Myers-Mentzer Memorial Scholarship and continues to support math undergraduates at Otterbein.

The Mentzers have been longtime active members of the “O” Club and annual supporters of many initiatives at Otterbein including the University’s annual Otterbein FUND, the Science Center building campaign, the Turf and Track project, and the Kathy Krendl Distinguished Lecture Series. Ed led the annual June Bug Jamboree Otterbein alumni gathering, along with friends Helen ’47 and the late Bill ’48 LeMay, for 23 years. He earned Otterbein’s Distinguished Service Award and Outstanding Volunteer award. Service to others was central to Ed’s life; he coached youth sports for many years, volunteered at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force and served 14 years as Provost Marshall in the Flight 9 Order of Daedalians. Ed provided volunteer income tax assistance at the Beavercreek Senior Center for more than 20 years.

They enjoyed traveling with many Otterbein alumni “Cardinal Migrations.” Ed proudly wore an Otterbein cap during all his travels and met alumni all over the country who recognized the beloved Otterbein logo.