Kenneth “Ken” J. Bentley, (aka: The Chief, Flash, Papa) age 98 of Montello passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on Thursday, June 22, 2023, at the Wisconsin Veterans Home at King.
Ken was born in Stevens Point on April 5, 1925, to Jess and Alice (Bowden) Bentley. He graduated from P.J. Jacobs High School in 1943. Ken proudly served his country as a combat medic in the United States Army 45 division during World War II, serving in the European, African and Middle Eastern Theaters earning several medals including the Bronze Star and 2 Purple Hearts as well as being a Prisoner of War. He was also recently conferred the LEGION Of HONNEUR medal for his role in liberating France during WWII.
Upon returning from his time in service, he furthered his education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, becoming a pharmacist in 1951. He was united in marriage on April 3, 1948, to Elaine Nelson at St. Stephen Catholic Church in Stevens Point and together they raised eight children. Elaine preceded Ken in death on March 24, 2013.
Ken founded the Bentley Pharmacy of Princeton, Montello and Westfield. He was honored during his lifetime as: UW Badger Football Season ticket holder of the year, Wisconsin Irishman of the Year, Bowl of Hygia for State of Wisconsin as Pharmacist of the Year, President of pharmaceutical buying group, President of the Montello Rotary Club and served as Mayor of Montello for 10 years. He loved to be outdoors whether it was fishing in Canada with his boys, hunting, raising Black Angus on his farm or boating during summers on the Chain of Lakes. He was a devout Roman Catholic and family man through and through and family traditions meant the world to him. He had that Irish sense of humor and a twinkle in his eye always. At the end of the day, he loved nothing better than to toast the sunset with a Manhattan surrounded by family.
Ken is survived by seven children: Patrick (Marietta) of Princeton, Mary Barber of Waupaca, Michael (Elizabeth) of New Hampshire, Marcus of Madison, Jane Bentley of Chicago, Kathy (Mark Hoffmeister) Bentley of Chicago and Kenneth of Waupaca. He is also survived by fifteen grandchildren: Brian (Hector), Erin (Charles), Ryan (Stephanie), Jess (Amber), Megan (fiancé Tekema), Joseph (Molly), Anna (Zach), Brandon, Jesslyn, Nathan (Estefany), Bridget (Brad), Katie (Jesse), Rick (Christie), Bentley and Rohn as well as 21 great-grandchildren. Ken is further survived by a son-in-law, Fritz Joachim and other extended family members.
Ken is preceded in death by his parents, wife, Elaine, daughter, Anne Joachim, son-in-law, Joe Barber and two sisters: Mary (George) Breitenstein and Helen (Sherman) Sword.
A Mass of Christian Burial for Kenneth Bentley will be held on Thursday, June 29, 2023 at 11:00 AM at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Montello. Visitation will be held from 9:00 until 10:45 AM. Father Savio Yerasani, Father Dale Grubba and Father Manuel Dorantes will concelebrate the Mass. Full military honors by American Legion Post #351 of Montello will immediately follow the service. Ken will be laid to rest at St. Stephen Catholic Cemetery, Stevens Point. In lieu of flowers, donations are preferred to the Wisconsin Veterans Home at King, please put in the memo line– AH 1st Floor Activities-Ken Bentley; they can be sent to: 800 Mitchell Avenue, King, WI 54946.
Crawford Funeral and Cremation Service of Montello and Oxford is honored to be serving the family. www.CrawfordFH.com