MARY BENTSEN(1929 - 2019)

BENTSEN--Mary Bates. Mary Bates Bentsen died on Sunday, the 12th of May, 2019, at her home in Houston surrounded by family. She was born in Houston on the 15th of March, 1929, to the late Col. William B. Bates and Mary Dorsey Bates. In addition to her parents and her sister Jean Bates Cartwright, Mary was preceded in death by her husband of sixty years, Kenneth E. Bentsen. A fifth-generation Texan, Mary attended River Oaks Elementary School, Kincaid School, Lamar High School, Mt. Vernon College, and received her B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin. After college, she co-founded the predecessor to the Houston Invitation Service before marrying the love of her life, Kenneth, on December 3, 1953. Throughout her life, Mary was an active member of her community, serving on the boards of several state and local organizations including: San Jacinto Museum of History Association (of which her father was a founding board member); Friends of the Governor's Mansion; Junior League of Houston; River Oaks Garden Club; Town & Country Garden Club; Child Guidance Center of Houston; and Kappa Alpha Theta (life member). She was a member of Bolero, Bayou Club, and Houston Country Club. Mary was also recognized as a member of the Children of the Republic of Texas. Among her survivors are her children: Molly Bates Bentsen; Betty Bentsen Newton and Stephen D. Newton; Kenneth Edward Bentsen, Jr. and Tamra Kiehn Bentsen; and William Lloyd Bentsen and Leslie Anne Moyer; her grandchildren: Mary Elizabeth Zimmerman and Zachary Mark Zimmerman; Elizabeth Bates Newton; Louise Colbath Bentsen; Camille Bentsen Newton; and Meredith Ellsworth Bentsen; her great-grandchildren: Chloe Zimmerman; Bentsen Zachary Zimmerman; and Luke William Zimmerman; and her sisters-in-law: Beryl Ann Bentsen and Betty Bentsen Winn. For a more complete and detailed obituary notice with service details, please visit Mrs. Bentsen's online memorial tribute at In lieu of customary remembrances, memorial contributions may be directed toward the San Jacinto Museum of History, One Monument Circle, La Porte, TX 77571; or to the River Oaks Garden Club Forum of Civics Foundation, 2503 Westheimer Rd., Houston, TX 77098.

Funeral Home

Geo. H. Lewis & Sons Funeral Directors
1010 Bering Drive Houston, TX 77057
(713) 789-3005

Published in The New York Times on May 15, 2019