Gordon Bentley, age 92 passed away January 25, 2019 at Royal Oaks Nursing Home in Dade City, Florida.
He was born December 16, 1926 at Mercy Hospital in Oelwein the son of Earl and Helen (Lacy) Bentley.
Gordon attended and graduated from Fairbank High School, Class of 1944. After graduation, he proudly served his country in the U.S. Army.
Gordon was stationed in Japan and was trained as a tank mechanic. However, when he arrived there were no tanks to work on, so he remained in the motor pool during his deployment there.
When he returned from the Army, he began working at the Chevrolet dealership that his dad founded the year he was born.
During that time with the war going on they were only allowed 1 1/2 cars per month. With only a few new cars to sell, Gordon improvised by reconditioning and selling used cars.
He was actually selling more used cars than his dad was selling new ones, so one day his dad told him he should just buy the place. So in the late 1950’s, Gordon bought the dealership from his dad. On October 13, 1955, Gordon married Patricia Joerger at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Fairbank. Together they owned and operated Bentley Chevrolet until 1986.
Gordon and Patty always spent at least 2 weeks in Florida every winter to attend the Daytona 500. In 1986, they started spending 5 months each year in Florida where he continued to sell used cars until 2018. Gordon’s love for racing began after returning home from the Army.
He would go to Daytona Beach to watch stock car racing back when they were still racing on the sand. Gordon also enjoyed building and racing stock cars in Iowa and was quite good at it. Until one night, his mother told him he couldn’t drive anymore.
That didn’t stop Gordon from continuing to build and own race cars through 1963. Gordon passed his love for racing down to his children. All three of them started out racing quarter midgets and eventually the number 35 was on two stock cars driven by his sons, David and Duane.
Gordon is survived by his wife of 63 years, Patty of Dade City, two sons; David and Duane both of Fairbank, one daughter, Mary (Joe) College of Earlham, Iowa, 8 grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren, two sisters-in-law; Mary Lou Fink of Fairbank and Betty Sturm of Estelline, SD and one brother-in-law; Charles (Cleo) Joerger of Fairbank. Gordon was preceded in death by his parents, a sister, Mary Jo and her husband Arnold Coffin, two brothers-in-law; Darwin Fink and Bill Sturm and one granddaughter, Lou Ann Bentley.
Services: 10:30 am Saturday, February 2, 2019 at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, Fairbank.
Rosary and Visitation: Parish Rosary at 3:45 pm with visitation to follow from 4:00-7:00 pm Friday, February 1, 2019 at Woods Funeral Home, Fairbank.
Military Rites: Fairbank American Legion Fortsch-Duffy Post 552.
Interment: Immaculate Conception Catholic Cemetery, Fairbank.
Memorials may be directed to the family for later designation.
Original source can be found here.