James Porter Bentley, Sr. (Red), a prominent and well known farmer of northeast Carlinville, died Tuesday, June 12, 2018 at home surrounded by family. He was 94 years old.
Red was born in Hestand, KY, May 5, 1924, son of William Harry and Artelia Grace Prather Bentley.
He married Lavina L. Crum on January 7, 1944.
Red moved to the Carlinville area with his family in 1936. After his father's death in 1939, the family bought a farm northwest of Carlinville that Red, his brother WH, sister Kathryn, and mother farmed together. He graduated in 1942 from Carlinville High School. In addition to being a farmer, Red was a Dekalb seed corn salesman and school bus driver. He was known for his custom farm work which included baling straw and hay and chopping silage in which he suffered the loss of a portion of his left hand in 1957.
He was a member of the Carlinville Methodist Church and a member of Elks Lodge #1412. He had a passion for bowling in the Elks' league. Red won numerous bowling awards and loved going to the Elks' National Bowling Tournaments. He also participated in tractor pulling during the 50’s and 60’s at the Macoupin County Fair and enjoyed trying his luck at the casino.
Red was a loving husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather. He never knew a stranger and was always willing to help his neighbor.
James Porter Bentley, Sr. is survived by his wife Lavina, daughters, Janice K. Bentley Harding, Jennifer C. Bentley Uptmor of Carlinville, IL and son, James Porter (Shirley) Bentley, Jr. of Dorsey, IL; six grandsons, Steve (Beth) Harding, Andy (Kate) Harding, Sam (Krissy) Harding, Matthew (Jamie) Uptmor, Jay (Tracy) Bentley, and Brandon (Brittani) Bentley; four granddaughters, Tera (Ted) Uptmor Jones, Bronwyn (David) Bentley Morgan, DeShea Bentley, and Madeleine Feuquay; sixteen great grandchildren, Blake, Collin, Alex (Loveless), Stevie, Charlie, Payton, Makenna, Taylor, and Quincy Harding; Samantha and Megan Uptmor; Ryan, Caleb, and Adelynn Bentley; Vandon Sproull and Illithyia Morgan; also many nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.
Red is preceded in death by his parents, brother William H. Bentley, sister Kathryn Jane Woods, half-sister Odette Herron, son Benjamin Sam Bentley, daughter Nora Jane Bentley Feuquay, son-in-law James A. Harding and grandson Kirk A. Harding.
A visitation will be held Saturday, June 16, 9am-11am at Heinz Funeral Home in Carlinville. Funeral service will immediately follow visitation with Pastor Cliff Woodman officiating. Burial will be at Mayfield Cemetery in Carlinville. Those planning an expression of sympathy may wish to consider memorials to Macoupin County 4-H Federation.