Jim was born April 13, 1929 in Chicago, Ill. to Conrad and Edith Bentley, the youngest of 6 children. The family moved to Thompson Falls in 1939. Jim’s fondest memories were the years spent at Birdland Bay and the Blue Slide Ranch. The fields of grass, all the trees and the mountains made a great playing field where Jim learned how to make things work, what to substitute for things that didn’t work and all the tricks of the trade of mechanics and houses. You name it; he could do it.
He and Evelyn Stinger met in Thompson Falls and fell in love. They were married April 25, 1953 in Thompson Falls. To this marriage they were blessed with 5 children, Mike (Joan) of Helena, Patrice Wheeler of Camarillo Calif., Liz (Howard) Eich of Helena, Charles (Laurie) of Simi Valley Calif. and Bill (Marni) of Helena. Jim is survived by his wife Evelyn, their 5 children, 19 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren and “5 more in the oven” as granddad was proud to say, and his brother-in-law Albert Williams.
Jim was a man of many talents and due to this, he and Evelyn were able to spend their first 14 years of retirement (’93-’07) on their 2nd honeymoon traveling between Thompson Falls, Helena and Welton, Ariz. while “full-timing” in their RV.
A family celebration of his life will be held at a later date in Thompson Falls. The family would like to extend their deep gratitude for the wonderful care provided by the doctors and nurses at The Cancer Treatment Center at St. Peter’s Hospital and Hospice of St. Peter’s. In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to Hospice of St. Peter’s.