Helen W. Bentley
January 13, 1922 – May 19, 2020
Born and raised in Auburndale, Florida, Helen Emily Walker Bentley, the last surviving child of Ruth and Ralph Walker of Auburndale, died in her Maitland home on May 19, 2020 at the age of 98. Born on January 13, 1922, she graduated from Auburndale High School in the top of her class and enrolled in Mary Washington College in Fredericksburg, Virginia as a music education major. Her marriage on October 8, 1942 to Capt. Talmadge Caswell Bentley of Winter Haven, FL interrupted her college career. In 1943, Helen and Tal started their family with the birth of their son John, followed by son Richard and daughter Mary Helen, all of whom survive her.
Inspired by her father Ralph Walker's love of and commitment to learning, Helen later enrolled in Rollins College, where she earned both a bachelor's and master's degree in education. This led to a 30-plus year career teaching 5th and 6th grade in Orlando area public schools. Throughout her long life, Helen believed strongly in Family, Education and God's Unconditional Love. Following her retirement from teaching, she volunteered for many years in adult literacy programs.
In addition to her three children, she is survived by daughters-in-law Katrin Tchana, Vicki Roach, grandchildren Orin, Colin, Molly, Michou, Xavier, great-grandson Jesse, and several nieces and nephews.
The family wishes to express special thanks to Helen's devoted, long-time care provider Steven Wilson, and to Helen's long-time primary care physician Dr. William Silverman of Maitland.
In celebration of Helen's life and to honor her legacy of love and kindness, gifts may be given in support of the Food Pantry of her Home Church as it continues to provide an essential service during this time of tremendous hardship: First Presbyterian Church of Auburndale, 410 Pilaklakaha Ave., Auburndale, FL 33823. Online gifts may be at https://www.firstpresaub.com/ by including "in honor of Helen Bentley" in the notes section.
A Memorial Service is planned at First Presbyterian Church of Auburndale in the future.