NORTH WILKESBORO, NC – James Mack Bentley, Jr., age 90, passed away peacefully May 20, 2022 at Wilkes Assisted Living Center.
Funeral Service will be held 1:00 PM Saturday June 25, 2022 at Reins-Sturdivant Chapel. The family will receive friends after the service. Burial will be at Mountlawn Memorial Park.
Jim, as he was known to friends and family, was born in Pores Knob, NC on February 8, 1932. He was predeceased by his parents, James Mack Bentley, Sr. and Eula Brock Bentley, as well as sisters Ruth and Rebecca Bentley, brothers Franklin Brock Bentley and Charles Parks Bentley.
After graduating from Wilkesboro High School in 1950, Jim attended Clevenger Business College for one year. Following completion he began his career in Public Service with the Town of North Wilkesboro. Shortly after joining the Town of North Wilkesboro’s staff he assumed the role of Town Clerk and later became North Wilkesboro’s first Town Manager. Over his career with the Town he championed efforts to enhance the quality of life for all of North Wilkesboro’s residents. Jim left the town’s employment in December 1981 and joined the Wilkes County Sheriff’s Department where he served 5 years as Administrative Assistant to Sheriff Kyle Gentry. He spent the remainder of his working life in the home remodeling business.
Jim was a devoted family man whose life was grounded by his faith in his Lord Jesus Christ. He measured his wealth by the number of his friends and could always be counted on to help anyone in their times of need. His word was his bond.
He was a member of First Baptist Church of North Wilkesboro until 1989 when he and several others chose to become founding members of Northside Church in support of Northside’s effort to become a duly constituted Southern Baptist Church. He served as a Deacon for First Baptist and served 28 years as Sunday School Director for Northside during his lifetime. He transferred his membership back to First Baptist Church in 2021.
In addition to his work in Public Service, Jim was very involved in local civic organizations. He was a lifetime member and past President of The Optimist Club and served as a Director of the Wilkes Chamber of Commerce. He received a Distinguished Service Award from the Wilkes County Jaycees. He served as Co-Chairman of the Blue Ridge Mountain Scenic Planning and Development Commission, Director of the N.C. League of Municipalities for 2 years and as Consultant to the N.C. Local Government Commission
He is survived by his wife of 69 years, Doris Ruth; and their three children: Roger Bentley (Kristen) of Mt. Juliet, TN, Beverley Welch (Gregg) of Garner, NC and Gracia Bentley of North Wilkesboro. He is also survived by four grandchildren: Adam Welch, Leah Welch, Carter Bentley and Olivia Bentley.
In lieu of flowers, Jim requested memorials be made to North Wilkesboro First Baptist Church or Northside Baptist Church. On-line condolences may be made at www.reinssturdivant.com.
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