Death of a Classmate - Thomas E. Bentley, 9th Co.

Bentley, Thomas E. This Georgia original was born on September 4, 1929 in the rural town of Quitman, Georgia, nine miles north of the Georgia/Florida line. Born on a farm sprinkled with sap-rich pine trees, Thomas and his older brother James Claude Bentley, Jr. (Pete) milked cows, hauled wood, and harvested crops next to their mother and father, Grace Littleton Bentley and James Claude Bentley, Sr. At 16 he joined the U. S. Navy until he was appointed to the United States Naval Academy where he was elected President of the 1954 class of midshipmen. His unfailing love for the Naval Academy permeated all aspects of his life, most particularly, as it was on a street in Annapolis that he first spotted his wife and the mother of his children Sue Lillian Hochmuth of Houston, Texas. In 1955 he began his family with the birth of his son, Thomas Eugene Bentley, Jr. who was followed by two daughters, Terry Bentley Hill and Laura Bentley Kellogg. Living in Richardson, Texas he encouraged and coached his children to be bold risk takers imparting his love of nature, hunting, fishing, and sports to each one of them. In the early sixties, out of his tiny garage, Thomas, honed and sharpened his entrepreneurial gifts by creating The Richardson Trident company a metals distribution business that grew into a multi-million dollar company with branches on the east coast, west coast, and in America's heartland. He along with 400 dedicated employees sacrificed their time and talent to grow and sustain the business for over 49 years. But, he always credited his success and prosperity to his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Gifted with charisma, intelligence, and humor, Thomas attracted friends from all over the world. His charitable heart is legendary as he quietly and often anonymously helped those in need whether from a destructive tornado in Oklahoma, school children needing clothes and school supplies, or families needing help making ends meet. Thomas' life came full circle as his love for the land led him to the rolling landscape of northeast Collin County where he created a farmland Xanadu where he spent his final years communing with his beloved dogs, cows, and wildlife. Above all else, his greatest treasure and joy was showering his beloved seven grandchildren with "larger-than-life" experiences. To Cadie, Elizabeth, Bentley, and Hallie Hill, and Emily, Kathryn, and Guy Tom Kellogg, "Tom Tom" was Willy Wonka, The Wizard of Oz, and Santa Claus rolled into one. Thomas' grand life ended Wednesday, April 18, 2013, at his home in Richardson. He joins his mother, father and granddaughter Hallie Hill in their heavenly home. The family invites you to join them in remembering his life on Monday, April 22, 2013 at 3:00 p.m. at the First Baptist Church Richardson at 1001 North Central Expressway at Arapaho, Richardson, Texas. In lieu of flowers, gifts in memory of Thomas E. Bentley can be sent to the United States Naval Academy Foundation, 291 Wood Road, Beach Hall, Annapolis, MD 21402-1254. Checks should be made payable to the U. S. Naval Academy Foundation and be noted "In memory of Mr. Thomas E. Bentley '54 for the general fund" in the memo line or on an accompanying note. Online condolences may be made at www.Sparkman-Hillcrest.com.

No comments: