Charles P. Bentley

Published 10:20 am Monday, October 29, 2018

NORTH WILKESBORO, NC – Dr. Charles Parks Bentley, age 82, passed away peacefully Tuesday, October 23, after a brief illness at Wake Forest Baptist Health-Wilkes Medical Center.

A celebration of his life will be held Saturday, November 3, 2018, at North Wilkesboro First Baptist Church at 2 p.m. with a reception immediately following at Oakwoods Country Club. There will be a private internment at Scenic Memorial Gardens. The family will receive friends from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. Friday, November 2, at Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home.

Charles, or Charlie as he was known to his friends and family, was born in Moravian Falls on September 13, 1936. He was predeceased by his parents, James Mack Bentley, Sr. and Eula Brock Bentley, as well as a brother, Franklin Brock Bentley.

After graduating from Wake Forest College in 1958, Charles became a teacher in Forsyth County. In 1963, at age 26, he became the youngest principal in the Winston-Salem / Forsyth County school system. In 1966, he moved back to Wilkes County to become the Associate Superintendent of the schools. Over the years, he hired hundreds of teachers, championed efforts to bring quality education to public schools in northwest North Carolina, and advocated relentlessly for the needs of children.

He served as the Director of the Northwest Regional Educational Center from 1981 – 1991. In 1991, he moved to Murfreesboro, North Carolina, where he started the education department at Chowan College as Chair of the Department of Teacher Education. In 1999, he and Lois retired to Wilkes County to the place he always called home.

Charles was a man of integrity, intelligence, kindness and humor. He measured his wealth by the number of his friends, not by the money in his bank account. He was always there for others, and gave unselfishly of his time to his family, friends, and strangers.

Charles is survived by his wife of 61 years, Lois Dempsey Bentley; and three daughters: Laura Bacon (Jim) of Richmond, VA, Lecia Beard of Greensboro, NC, and Beth Casey (Steve) of Raleigh, NC. He is also survived by three grandsons: Zack Casey, Logan Casey and Jamie Bacon, as well as his oldest brother, James Mack Bentley, Jr. (Jim) and his wife Doris; a nephew; five nieces; multiple cousins and grand-nieces and nephews; and a host of dear friends.

In lieu of flowers, Charles requested memorials be made to the First Baptist Church, North Wilkesboro (P.O. Box 458, North Wilkesboro, NC 28659) the Wilkes Education Foundation (613 Cherry Street, North Wilkesboro, NC 28659), to the Dr. Charles P. Bentley Student Teacher Award, (c/o Chowan University, One University Place, Murfreesboro, N.C., 27855), or to a charity of your choice. On-line condolences may be made at