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Kent O. Wirtz

In Loving Memory of

Kent O. Wirtz

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October 18, 1949
January 22, 2023

Kent O. Wirtz joined his heavenly family on Sunday, January 22, 2023, at the age of 73 years young. Kent is survived by his only daughter, Athena Wirtz (Tanner Grutz); siblings Susan Buettner (Mark), Gail Olsen, and Julie Williams; and beloved canine companion Gypsy (also loving known as “Rat Dog”).

At a young age Kent joined the U. S. Navy to serve his great nation, serving on the USS Monticello during the Vietnam conflict. After completing his military service, Kent followed his natural curiosity for the wonders of biology and botany and received a Master of Biology degree from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Kent’s passion for science and the environment blossomed into becoming a professor at UNLV and the Community College of Southern Nevada. Kent’s love for teaching and adventure took on a new role when Kent joined the Continuing Education team at UNLV. Kent excelled in educating the hearts, souls, and minds of so many eager adventurers as their guide to trips to the Grand Canyon, Death Valley, and all the little towns between.

Kent had an endless passion for photography, and taking strolls through “his” desert. Kent possessed a charismatic personality with a heart and soul filled with love for family, adventure, and the precious beauty of our earth.

Above all else, Kent was a deeply devoted and doting dad to Athena, the greatest love of his life.

Kent is deeply missed by all who love him.

Kent was preceded in death by his parents Howard and Dorothy Wirtz

Services for Kent will be held Tuesday, March 7, 2023, at 8:00 a.m. at the Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery located at 1900 Veterans Memorial Drive, Boulder City, Nevada 89005.

In lieu of flowers, Kent’s family kindly requests donations be made in his memory to the Death Valley National History Association (


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