Robert Bentley "Sarge" Obituary
 
In Memory of

Robert K Bentley "Sarge"

May 14, 1917 - January 1, 2011
Obituary

Robert K. Bentley 1917 - 2011 Robert K. Bentley, beloved husband and cherished father, left this world for the next on New Year's Day. Despite suffering from Alzheimer's disease for the past 10 years, "Sarge" Bentley remained a cheerful, steady presence in his family home, up to the end showing the warmth and humor that characterized his entire life. Sarge was born on May 14, 1917, in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Despite having spent more than 60 of his years in Southern California, Sarge maintained that Colorado pretty much had it over any spot in the world. Returning to Long Beach from one of the annual summer vacation trips back to...
Robert K. Bentley
1917 - 2011

Robert K. Bentley, beloved husband and cherished father, left this world for the next on New Year's Day. Despite suffering from Alzheimer's disease for the past 10 years, "Sarge" Bentley remained a cheerful, steady presence in his family home, up to the end showing the warmth and humor that characterized his entire life.
Sarge was born on May 14, 1917, in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Despite having spent more than 60 of his years in Southern California, Sarge maintained that Colorado pretty much had it over any spot in the world. Returning to Long Beach from one of the annual summer vacation trips back to visit his folks, he brought back a large glass jar with a screw-top lid. He said it was full of clean Colorado air, and every so often he would take it off the fireplace mantel and grab a whiff of it, but careful not to take too much so he could savor it another day. He was a dedicated Denver Broncos fan and had lots of Broncos paraphernalia that he would surround himself with when watching every game. Quarterback of his high-school football team, he never admitted that he managed to break his knee on purpose during a big game, in order to win the affections of concerned cheerleaders.
Sarge was a waist gunner on B-17s in WWII, flying 35 missions primarily over Germany. The guys were supposed to have flown only 25 missions and then be finished, but it was war, so sometimes rules weren't really rules. He kept a small, 3x6 inch leather-bound notebook listing every mission his team flew, plus the pilot of each one of the "Flying Fortresses," as the B-17s, built by Boeing, were called. After WWII, he was drafted out of the Army reserves and served in the Korean War, spending much of that time in Japan. He earned the stripes and the nickname that stayed with him until the end of his days from those years in the service of his country. Sarge met his bride-to-be, Eileen O'Brien, while stationed in Long Beach, California in 1945. She worked at the old Manning's Restaurant on Pine Avenue, and when he came in to eat one day, she elbowed aside the other waitresses so she could carry the tray of that handsome man. They married on May 30, 1947, and Eileen is now almost ready to forgive him for his Korean service, since he left his two lovely young daughters at home.
Sarge worked at the Ford Motor plants in Long Beach and Pico Rivera City for 39 years-and in those years, the number of days he missed work could be counted on one hand. That kind of steady, old-fashioned perseverance was a mark of his character, a character defined by consistent warmth and fellowship. After his retirement, he became a congenial nuisance around the house for his wife, golfing occasionally, and traveling to Alaska, Ireland and Las Vegas, where he was a good friend of the casino craps tables, occasionally winning but sometimes not, so the drive back to Long Beach would seem awfully long at certain times. He and Eileen have lived in the same house since 1953. He was known in the old neighborhood for his warm welcomes and his zany front-yard signs, boosting his Colorado sports teams and commenting on the times. When he was still ambulatory he used to walk the street bringing in the neighbors' trash cans and warning them about street-sweeping days. Now his wonderful caregivers would walk him in his wheelchair down the street so he still could say hello to the neighbors.
He is survived by his wife Eileen, his four children, Colleen Bentley, Kathleen Bentley, Rick Bentley and Tom Bentley, his grandson Zach King and several nieces and nephews and grandnieces and nephews. Despite him living a full, rich 93 years, they wish he could have lived forever.
Viewing will be from 3-5 p.m. Thursday, January 6, at Luyben Family Dilday-Mottell Mortuary, 5161 E. Arbor Road, Long Beach. At 5 p.m. the rosary and vigil will begin. Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, January 7, at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 6220 E. Willow St., Long Beach. A reception will follow the services in St. Joseph's hall. Mr. Bentley will be buried at All Souls Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Pathways Volunteer Hospice, 3701 Michelson St. Lakewood, CA 90712, or to the Alzheimer's Association, P.O. Box 96011
Washington, DC 20090.
Luyben Family Dilday-Mottell Mortuary (562) 425-6401
www.luybenfamilyd-m.com

"Colleen, What a amazing man your father was! Keeping you and your family in our prayers and thoughts. May God Bless and keep all of you!" Sabrina Sanders (Long Beach, CA)

This Guest Book has 7 entries. View Complete Guest Book