On May 16, 2023 Johnny Samuel Bentley, age 79, passed away at the Ohio State University Hospital from complications caused by a medical procedure that occurred previously in April. He was preceded in death by his parents Howard and Julietta Bentley and brothers Sonny, Dennis, and Randall. He is survived by his wife Joy Bentley, daughter Jenny (Don) Whan and son John (Heather) Bentley, grandchildren Cody (Sarah) and Ashley Cook, Londyn Bentley, Lydia Fry, Lane Edwards and great grandchildren Alexa, Brody and Calli Cook, Cianna and Zoey Kinder.
Johnny was a graduate of Marshall University with post graduate studies at Ohio University. During his college years at Marshall University, he played football and as a member of the track team, he was a pole vaulter. In 1961 while attending Stonewall Jackson High School in Charleston, West Virginia, he set a new state record of 12 feet 6 ½ inches using a metal pole. He also received the Mr. Touchdown award.
He was a teacher at Meigs High School from1967 to 1998. While there he taught science, coached football, wrestling, and track. After retiring from teaching, he volunteered to teach Meigs County History to third graders at Southern Elementary School. He was an active member of the OH-Kan Coin Club. He also served briefly on the Syracuse Village Council. In 2006 he became president of the Syracuse Community Center where he oversaw many improvements to the building and grounds. He helped build the Ernie Sisson Shelter House, assisted with construction of the Joyce Sisson playground as well as the playground at Carleton School and the Syracuse Village playground. He helped with the construction of the mini-park at Syracuse’s entrance. He also helped his wife plant shrubbery, trees and flowers at the Pomeroy Library.
A celebration of life service will be held beginning at 4:00 P.M. on Thursday, May 25, 2023 at the Syracuse Community Center with Pastor Mark Morrow officiating. Thereafter, anyone wishing to share memories is welcome to do so. Finally, everyone is invited to stay for light refreshments.
In lieu of flowers, his family requests that donations be made in his memory to the Syracuse Community Center, P.O. Box 560, Syracuse, Ohio 45779.