Bill Bentley passed away unexpectedly on November 19, 2012 in Annapolis, Maryland. Bill was born in Newnan, Georgia on February 7, 1947 to Jack and Audrey Morris Bentley. His father was a Superintendent at the Ford Motor Company and his mother taught several generations of kindergarteners in Palmetto, Georgia. Bill enjoyed a small town childhood in Palmetto, filled with Pinewood Derby races, the Boy Scouts and exploring the woods with friends. He graduated from Lakeshore High School where he was elected the Homecoming King. Bill's early enthusiasm for engineering was sparked by his father and developed while attending Georgia...
Bill Bentley passed away unexpectedly on November 19, 2012 in Annapolis, Maryland.
Bill was born in Newnan, Georgia on February 7, 1947 to Jack and Audrey Morris Bentley. His father was a Superintendent at the Ford Motor Company and his mother taught several generations of kindergarteners in Palmetto, Georgia. Bill enjoyed a small town childhood in Palmetto, filled with Pinewood Derby races, the Boy Scouts and exploring the woods with friends. He graduated from Lakeshore High School where he was elected the Homecoming King.
Bill's early enthusiasm for engineering was sparked by his father and developed while attending Georgia Institute of Technology. His attachment to Georgia Tech was life-long and Bill needed little encouragement to teach friends the Georgia Tech fight song. After graduation he went to work for Electronic Data Systems (EDS) and moved to various cities with the company.
When he moved to Columbus, Ohio he met the love of his life, Kathi Turner. After only ten months they were married on May 19, 1984 and subsequently lived in Cincinnati and Louisville. They moved to North Carolina in 1998 and brought Kathi's parents, Lloyd and Joan Turner there in 2000. Through their 28 years together Bill and Kathi shared endless delightful experiences, finding fun in the different cities where they lived and the friends they made in each. Last fall they had a particularly special adventure as they were thrilled to go on their dream trip, a photo safari in South Africa.
Bill enjoyed life, whether it was superb performance by the North Carolina Theatre or a good cigar on the golf course. Although by his own admission Bill was not a skilled golfer, that only slightly diminished his enjoyment of the game and the pleasurable time with friends playing it. Most Saturday mornings were spent with "Big Show" group at Crooked Creek Golf Club as well as any other opportunity to hit the links. College football was a significant element in Bill's life, not only in supporting Georgia Tech, but he equally embraced Kathi's alma mater, The Ohio State University. He took pleasure in music, from jazz to the musical direction at his church, Colonial Baptist in Cary. An avid reader, Bill typically read a book a week, usually mystery and spy thrillers.
Bill's passion included all things mechanical, whether creating or analyzing them and he spent his career as an information technology (IT) consultant. For the past eight years he has been at the NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center where he served as the lead programmer for the Exploration and Heliophysics Projects Division (EHPD). He commuted from Raleigh, spending the work week in Maryland and extended weekends in Raleigh. In this role he was the creator of various critical business systems for multiple space flight programs and projects. He supported major initiatives such as the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) project in addition to his normal EHPD duties on large and complex activities such as the Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) and Solar Probes Plus (SPP) missions. He thoroughly enjoyed working with his colleagues at NASA who he described as incredibly intelligent and dedicated and he was proud to be associated with them. In 2009 he earned his Master's Degree in Information Systems from the University of Maryland in Baltimore County, adding to his knowledge of technology.
Bill had a love for animals and the Bentley household always had at least two cats or dogs as members of the family. Even with his travel schedule, he volunteered when he could at the SPCA of Wake County to exercise some of the bigger dogs who clearly enjoyed their romp with him.
Bill's faith developed later in life and was a natural part of his joyful nature. In recent years he had an ever-deepening appreciation for God's Word and he enjoyed actively participating in a Men's Bible Study and an Adult Bible Fellowship class at Colonial Baptist Church, where he was a member. He approached studying with his own mix of curiosity, humor, and joy as well as reverence for the Scriptures.
Bill is survived by his wife, Kathi; brother Jack Bentley, Jr. of Palmetto Georgia; nieces Sharon Harper and Mallory Bentley; nephew, Jay Bentley; his devoted mother-in-law Joan Turner; several members of Kathi's family who loved Bill and many great friends.
Bill will be remembered for his devotion to Kathi, his enjoyment of life and his ever-present smile and infectious laugh.
Funeral services will be on Dec. 1 at 10:00 in the chapel at Colonial Baptist Church, 6051 Tyron Road, Cary NC 27518. Visitation will follow at the church with a private family burial at Raleigh Memorial Park.
It was always Bill's preference that in lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Colonial Baptist Church or the SPCA of Wake County, 200 Petfinder Lane, Raleigh, NC 27603.