BENTLEY DAVIS SEIFER - BURLINGTON - Bentley Davis Seifer, age 12 passed away on July 12, 2011 while enjoying the natural surroundings of the Bolton Potholes. Bentley had a very full and happy childhood. The abrupt end of his life has challenged us all to live better lives. Bentley was born an only child to the proud parents of Julie A. Davis and Bruce F. Seifer on Nov. 17, 1998. Bentley was truly a gift after many failed attempts to bear a child. Bentley was named after the famous Vermont photographer, Snowflake Bentley because he was born on the first snowfall of the season and because his parents were struggling to find a name that began with "S" to honor Bentley's late grandfather, Stanley Seifer. Bentley was a happy, active infant and child. He was walking while holding his mother's hand at the age of three months, and walked a mile from Church Street to his home on his first birthday. Bentley has put his parents to the test since the day he was born. He was always on the move and never fond of sleeping. He has also been prone to illness and injury. His parents have spent many sleepless nights over the years battling sinus infections, numerous allergies, a series of severe episodes of poison ivy and various other injuries and ailments including salmonella poisoning. Throughout it all, Bentley was a trooper, always up for the day no matter what was presented to him. Thankfully, this pattern of illness and injury slowly disappeared over the years and he transformed into an athletic, sensitive, respectful and kind-hearted boy who loved to hang with his friends, doing most anything they wanted to do. He possessed an emotional intelligence far beyond his years as recognized and appreciated by all around him. When Bentley was a toddler, he would get up every morning with his mother to color and draw "abstract" sorts of things. He also loved to build forts with his many neighborhood friends and swing on the homemade swing he and his mom made on the tree next to the front of the house. It became a magnet for every young child in the neighborhood for several years. Bentley also loved to help his dad with all of the gardening tasks around the yard in the summer and snow shoveling in the winter. He loved to work with his dad at the workbench and his talent as a blossoming engineer was reflected in discovering "How Things Work", inventing and building things like his grandfather Seifer and great-grandfather Seifer before him. Callahan Park was Bentley's second back yard. He spent many hours there with friends playing wall ball and frisbee, chasing butterflies, climbing trees, chasing squirrels, and digging in the dirt. He also participated in the team sports of soccer and baseball. When it snowed he was the first one outside to clear the trails and loved building snow forts and snowmen and throwing snow balls. In his early years, Bentley was fortunate to be cared for by an extended network of friends and neighbors including Maureen Cannon, Sandy Costes, Josh Lobe and Sharon McConnell, Holly and Ian Jeffers, Missy McCarthy, Jenny Eddy and many other friends and relatives. Bentley attended Trinity preschool for two years where he gained a reputation among the children for being a lot of fun and absolutely hating naps. Bentley then attended Champlain Elementary School where he was loved by all his teachers and classmates. He just completed grade 6 at Edmunds Middle School where he was an excellent student making high honor roll every semester. He was on the Edmunds Soccer Team and played the saxophone in the school band. He shied away from the limelight except when he was asked to step on the pitcher's mound for his Little League and All-Stars teams. After a couple hundred falls, Bentley displayed a special talent for skiing and together with close friends and family he conquered every trail on the mountain at the Bolton ski area. Bentley is survived by an astounding array of loving family, friends, and acquaintances including his parents, Julie A. Davis and Bruce F. Seifer of Burlington; his maternal grandparents, Thomas and Delores Davis of Barre; his maternal aunts, uncles and cousins, Michael and Sylvia Davis, and their children, Justin and Andrea, Corinne Davis and her cat Oliver, Linda and Duane Chambers and their sons, Christopher and Schuyler, Timothy Davis and his children, Jennifer and Sarah, Dan and Steve Davis, Dawn and Jay Wolk and their children, Brett and Rachel, David and Jo-Ann Davis and their son, Taylor, Richard and Claudine Davis and their son, Joshua; Karen and David McKenny and their children, Niki, Alex and Katie. On his paternal side he is survived by, Marc and Lois Seifer, and Meri and John Keithley and their children, Devin and Dara. He was predeceased by his paternal grandparents, Stanley and Thelma Seifer, who are ready to welcome him with open arms. Bentley and Thelma were a lot alike in character and had a unique bond. She was quick to say that Bentley was "special" every time his name was mentioned in her presence. He is also survived by a very loving group of friends including, George, Sean, Schuyler, Walker, Oliver, Yo-yo, Henry, Wes, Sage, Kaelin, Maddie, Nico, Max, Jonas, Charlie, Sam, and the rest of his classmates at Edmunds Middle School, his teammates on the Burlington Americans All-Star baseball team, the Little League Reds Team, the Catamount Soccer team and so many other friends, neighbors and acquaintances too numerous to mention at this time. A memorial service was held on Saturday, July 16, 2011, at 12 noon at the First Unitarian Universalist Society Church at the top of Church Street in Burlington, at 152 Pearl Street. In lieu of flowers, the Davis-Seifer family requests that you kindly donate to the Bentley Davis Seifer Memorial Trust for the placement of a community bench in his honor at Callahan Park. Please send to the "Bentley Memorial Trust Fund" in c/o Collins, McMahon & Harris, 308 Main Street, P.O. Box 1623, Burlington, VT 05402.
There is a Candle
There is a candle that lies deep within you
the light of which
keeps you safe and warm where ever you are.
Keep your hands cupped around the flame
so it will not quiver
when the winds of change blow open your door.
Julie A. Davis (2010)
Published in The Burlington Free Press from July 14 to July 17, 2011