Gary Michael Bentley

August 10, 1946March 24, 2013

Gary Michael Bentley, 66, much-loved husband, step-father, family member, and friend passed away on March 24 after a short, but valiant struggle against cancer.

He is survived by his wife of 30 years, Sheila, his step-daughter, Christine Skinner (David), step-son, Scott English, nephew, Brian Griffin (Hartselle, Alabama), and niece Erin Griffin (Homer, Alaska).

Born on August 10, 1946, in Decatur, Alabama, to Buford and Donna Mae Bentley, he graduated from the University of Alabama in 1969. He served in the United States Air Force during the Vietnam War flying C-141 transport planes. He retired as a Major from the Air Force after 20 years of service.

Gary moved to Seattle during his Air Force service and later worked as an electrical engineer while flying for the Air Force Reserves. He also earned an MBA from Seattle University while in Seattle.

Gary retired as a commercial airline captain after 27 years with Hughes Airwest, Republic Airlines, and Northwest Airlines.

Gary was an avid traveler, golfer, and University of Alabama football fan, and he volunteered at the FedEx-St. Jude golf tournament.

Services will be held at the Memphis Funeral Home, at 5599 Poplar Avenue, on Saturday, April 6, with visitation from 12:00 – 2:00 p.m., and services at 2:00 p.m.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers that a contribution be made to a favorite charity, to the American Cancer Society, or to the Collierville Animal Shelter.


  • Visitation Saturday, April 6, 2013
  • Memorial Service Saturday, April 6, 2013

Gary Michael Bentley

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Phil Scott

April 15, 2013

I have nothing but good thoughts when I think of Gary. Lots of humor and a great guy to be around. It is very sad indeed to lose him. My sympathies to Sheila.

Glenn Swedelius

April 6, 2013

He will be missed. We went back many years and always had a great time.

Carol Caughey

April 6, 2013

Gary was truly a good man. He did what needed to be done with humor, caring, and goodwill. He provided all of us with wonderful memories, laughs, and a standard by which to live.

Necie Nix

April 5, 2013

I was so saddened to learn of Garys passing. I flew with Gary for many years at Republic/Northwest Airlines. We developed a friendship quickly as I am from Huntsville and he was from Decatur. He was a true southern gentleman and always took excellent care of his crews. Sheila, I also remember having the both of you on my flights pass riding after his retirement. I thought how wonderful that you two loved to travel so much! Please accept my deepest sympathies.

Susan Timm

April 4, 2013

Sheila, our hearts are heavy as we think of the terrible loss you have experienced. Gary had a wonderful smile whenever I saw him at the International Listening Association conventions. Donna Schiess (Renaud) and I were talking and fondly remembering the fun we all had at the mansion in Milwaukee. The picture of Gary and you that we took for the newsletter was a nice one. May fond memories and the love you all share provide you all with some sense of peace at this most difficult of all times.

Jay Shelden

April 4, 2013

Sheila, I am deeply sorry to hear of the passing of Gary. I've known him since the Vietnam era and roomed with during our first year of our airline careers. His sense of humor was second to none. He will be missed by everyone who knew him.

Jack and Lynn Bentley

April 3, 2013

We can only imagine the terrible loss you feel from the passing of your dear Gary. We know you have many happy memories that will surely give you comfort. You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers.

April 1, 2013

Sheila, Susan and I are so sorry you have lost Gary. We kept your Christmas letter, it was a highlight of our holiday season. We know you will always cherish those wonderful memories. We will keep you in our prayers,

Gaylon and Susan

Sidney McClanahan

March 31, 2013

My prayers and thoughts.

Doug Summers

March 29, 2013

So sorry to hear of Gary's passing! Saw him last at 45th class reunion a few years back. A neighbor for many years on bethel rd in hartselle. His dad cut my hair for a long long time. Gone but never forgot ton! Always a good friend, a great classmate! God bless & be with all your family/friends at this time!