Richard Lee Bentley, of Kalamazoo, Michigan passed away peacefully on February 21, 2021 at the age of 78. He was born on March 9, 1942 to the late Nolan and Florence Bentley. Richard attended Mattawan Public Schools. After school he and his sister, Beatrice would help their parents, Nolan and Florence tend to their grape vineyards and asparagus fields.
On October 22, 1965, Richard married the love of his life, Joy Skinner. They were married for 55 years. Throughout the years they enjoyed several motorcycle trips around the country. Richard enjoyed showing off his clean, well-maintained toys which included snowmobiles, tractors, motorcycles, four-wheelers, fifth wheels, trucks, cars, campers, speed and fishing boats, and his karaoke machine. Richard and Joy were able to travel to Florida and Arizona during Michigan winters in their fifth wheel. Richard was determined to make their trips enjoyable and memorable. He even hauled their fishing boat on the back of the fifth wheel. During their trips to Florida, Richard enjoyed singing Karaoke at the Karaoke Shows at the park where they stayed.
Richard worked for General Motors (Fisher Body) for 25 years. While he was working full-time he started his own business Dick's Lawn Development. Needless to say, he wasn't afraid to work; he took pride in the lawns he put in for the neighborhoods in his community. Richard continued working both jobs for approximately 15 years. In 1993, he retired from General Motors which opened more of his time for the fun things in life.
Richard will truly be missed, especially for being the "glue" that kept the family together. There were many cookouts, camping in the backyard, foot races with his adult children, taking his children and grandchildren out tubing on the lake and so many other occasions, too many to list, that will be forever embedded in all our memories. Richard will be remembered most for the love he had for his dogs, Maxwell (late), Sherman and Tracey. They too, traveled the thousands of miles alongside them.
Richard was preceded in death by his parents Nolan and Florence (Drake) Bentley, his daughter April Bentley and his sister, Beatrice Grimm. He is survived by: his wife, Joy; children: Vicky (Doug) Hickok, Talbert (Debbie) Bentley, Autumn (Wes) Merrill and Shelly Bentley; 8 beloved grandchildren: Bryan, Keith, Todd, Eric, Kyle, Cameron, Sarah, Shana and 2 special great-grandchildren.
To fulfill Richard's wishes, there will be no service. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that any donations be made to the Kalamazoo Humane Society.
Please visit Richard's tribute wall to leave a condolence or memory at https://www.langelands.com
Kalamazoo Humane Society
2272 River Street, Kalamazoo MI 49048