A celebration of the life of John W. Lentz FE63 (May 24,1936 – January 16, 2015) was held on Sycamore Island on Saturday, June 6, 2015 at 4pm.
John Lentz was one of the great figures of northern wilderness canoeing.
In 1962 his party made the first modern descent of the Back River and he continued to paddle Canada’s north five decades later. John logged twenty-one major Canadian paddling expeditions, plus two in Siberia where canoes and catamarans were employed. His river trip articles have been published in a variety of magazines, including National Geographic and The Beaver. John was a prominent participant in Washington, D.C area canoeing activities for many years, and is also a long-time member of the Sycamore Island Club. He and his wife Judy live up the hill from the Island.
John retired from U.S. Government service in 1999 to join a private financial consulting firm in the Washington, D.C., area. In October 2013, he was invited to deliver the Inaugural George Luste Lecture at The Canadian Canoe Museum. John told his wilderness paddling stories in a presentation entitled “Five Decades of Wilderness Paddling: People and Places”. This new lecture series George Luste who in 1986 inaugurated the annual Wilderness and Canoeing Symposium in Toronto, attracting upwards of 800 paddlers from all over North America. . John was born in Toronto and attended Upper Canada College.