John Richard Bentley died January 29, 2022 on his 83rd birthday at Wilkes Regional Medical Center.
John was preceded in death by his wife Glenda Lea Price Bentley “his Angel” and they are reunited in Heaven.
John was born January 29, 1939 in Wilkes County to Benjamin Franklin Sr. and Ruby Brown Bentley.
He was a 1957 graduate of Wilkes Central High School and attended Lees Macrae College for two years. In 1959 he joined the US Army, where he served in Germany for a total of 30 months. He served in CCA Unit Police for thirteen months. The Unit Police was an organization which accepted only outstanding men, placing them on the most stringent requirements. After he performed his duty with the Unit Police, he served in 2d Medium Tank Battalion, 1st Cavalry, 3d Armored Division (Spearhead), APO 39 US Forces. He served with Elvis Presley for 4 months.
John was a man of strong Christian values and has been active during his life at both North Wilkesboro First Baptist Church and St. Pauls Episcopal Church in Wilkesboro.
John was a well-known Boy Scouts of America volunteer for his service of 72 years. He served as scoutmaster of five different scout troops in Wilkes and Ashe Counties, as well as district representative. His service has led to many awards on the local, regional and national level. He was awarded Boy Scouts of America’s highest award, the Silver Beaver, and the Baptist-Good Shepard Award for scouting. Bentley also holds The Order of the Arrow Vigil honor with the name “Linchpin”. The Vigil Honor is the highest honor that the Order of the Arrow can bestow upon its members for service to lodge, council, and Scouting. Bentley was awarded the “Citizen’s Award” in 1970 by WKBC radio for outstanding service, acts of kindness, and thoughtful consideration to the people of Wilkes County. In 1990, the “John R. Bentley Scholarship” was started in recognition of Bentley’s unselfish service to boys and Boy Scouting. The scholarship was to be granted periodically so that all scouts of Troop 333, Hays, North Carolina, who achieve the honor of Eagle Scout may attend the Philmont Scout Reservation or other high adventure camps. Bentley was also honored by the Woodmen of the World Life Insurance Society in appreciation of commendable service.
Bentley joined the Cub Scouts at Pack 35 at North Wilkesboro First United Methodist Church and becamea lifelong member of the Boy Scouts of America and has volunteered in leadership positions in local troops and at the district and council levels. He served as waterfront director at Camp Raven Knob in Mount Airy, NC, and he is a founding member of the “Cook Crew” which serves over 1,000 scouts three meals per day while attending arrow events.
Through his guidance, Bentley has influenced hundreds of youths. He is known to the community as putting “his boys” first, and always teaching them to “do their best.” His legacy has touched multiple generations of some families in the community.
John and Glenda are survived by a daughter, Debbie Dancy of Roaring River; two sons Thomas Barker of Ashe County and James Barker of Millers Creek; seven grandchildren, James Barker, Tanner Barker, Alex Barker, Roy Grubb, Brianne Barker, April Oliber, and Danny King; two great-grandchildren, Jared Dimmette and Trinity Tutterow; a great-great grandson, Dallas Dimmette; and a nephew Ben Bentley and wife Lynn of Winston-Salem
The family will receive friends at Reins Sturdivant Funeral Home from 1:00 pm to 1:45 pm on Friday February 4th at the funeral home. Funeral services by Scouts BSA Old Hickory Council will follow at 2:00 PM at Reins Sturdivant Chapel in North Wilkesboro followed by burial at Mountlawn Cemetery in North Wilkesboro.