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Thomas Bentley

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Thomas Bentley Obituary

Thomas N. 2/20/32 - 1/14/14

Thomas Northrup Bentley, retired U.S. Army Colonel, passed away after a long

illness on Tuesday, January 14, at his residence in Ellicott City, Maryland. Formerly from Perrysburg, Ohio, Lake Leelanau, Michigan, and Delray Beach, Florida, he lived with his wife, Gill; daughter, Beverly, and son-in-law, John L. ( Ian ) Carroll Jr., Ellicott City, Maryland. Thomas was the son of the late Anderton Lewis Bentley and Hilda Grosh Bentley,

and for most of his life lived in Perrysburg, Ohio, where Bentley family roots in Toledo and Northwest Ohio reach deeply into nineteenth century industry and building. Trained as a civil engineer, Tom served as CEO and Chairman (1972-82) of the A. Bentley and Sons Company, a heavy industrial engineering and construction firm founded in 1877 by his great- grandfather, Anderton Bentley. The Bentley Company was an innovator in construction methods, building many of the major structures in downtown Toledo and beyond, including industrial facilities, utilities such as nuclear power plants,

and other commercial and residential buildings. Tom Bentley also spent much of his professional life in service to his country's armed forces. Colonel Bentley's military career over 38 years (Active and Reserve) included service with the Army Corps of Engineers in Germany (1955-61); Savannah, Georgia (1962-72), and Washington, D.C. (1982-86). The family was surprised to recently learn he was awarded two Distinguished Service Medals. In addition, the Anderton Bentley Fund, which Tom chaired with his brother, A.L. Bentley Jr., had special interest in antiquities and American decorative arts at the Toledo Museum of Art, and other community organizations. Tom also served as a Director, National Marine Service; and VP, Toledo Chamber of Commerce.

Thomas met his wife, Gill Wright Bentley, through their common involvement with the Toledo Museum of Art, and married in 1963. They had two children, Beverly Bentley Carroll of Ellicott City, Maryland and James Bentley of East Burke, Vermont. Tom's family knew him as disciplined and meticulous, but also affable, engaging, and fascinated by the natural and political world around him. He had a love for pheasant hunting in Ohio and for training hunting dogs. A longstanding member of both the American Institute of Archeology (Trustee, Toledo Chapter) and Toledo Museum of Art, Tom was a lifelong learner and as fluent in archeology and geopolitics as he was in shotguns and fine wines. During his lifetime, he attended the Hill School in Pottstown, Pennsylvania; Yale University; University of Toledo; U.S. Army Command and General Staff School; The Army War College, and the Harvard Business School Small Company Management Program. Tom was a member of the Apollo Society at the Toledo Museum of Art, the Military Reserve Officers Association; the Leland Country Club, Leland, Michigan; The Little Club, Gulfstream, Florida, and Ringneck Ridge Hunting Club, Gibsonburg, Ohio. He leaves a legacy of service,

integrity, learning, and

passionate living, and will be sorely missed.

Tom was predeceased by his older brother, A.L. Jr. and

his twin, Lawrence. He is

survived by his daughter, Beverly Bentley Carroll,

Ellicott City; his son,

James Thomas Chamberlain Bentley, East Burke, VT, and five grandchildren.

Donations in Tom's honor would be welcome at the Toledo Museum of Art-Conservation Program, Toledo, Ohio; Leelanau Conservancy, Leland, Michigan; and The Wounded Warriors Project. Plans for an Ohio celebration of Tom's life

in June are underway.

Arrangements are being

handled by Witzler Shank Funeral Home, Perrysburg, OH (419-874-3133).
Published in The Blade on Jan. 26, 2014
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