- BORN: October 31, 1910
- DIED: May 30, 2011
- LOCATION: North Little Rock, Arkansas
Mildred Elsie Bentley passed from this life to be with her Lord on May 30, 2011. The daughter of Earl and Idella Finch, she was born on October 31, 1910. She attended school in Lonoke, where she finished 10th grade before marrying Edward Bentley. She and Edward built a home in Levy in 1938. During World War II, they boarded five men who helped build Camp Robinson, in addition to their family. At that time the house only had two rooms. She was a resident of North Little Rock for more than 75 years, and lived in the same home in Levy until her death.
She worked making detonators at the munitions factory in Jacksonville during World War II. She also worked in the cafeteria at St. Vincent’s Infirmary and was working there when the hospital moved from its original location on 12th Street to its current location on University. She also worked in the cafeteria at McRae school in North Little Rock. Although she worked outside the home for several years, her favorite job was that of mother to her four children. She was proud of her kids and always tried to impress upon them to live by the Golden Rule.
In addition to spending time with her family, she enjoyed eating, cooking, cheering on the Razorbacks and listening to gospel music. She particularly enjoyed listening to the Gaithers. She was a member of Life Unlimited church in Little Rock. At her recent 100th birthday celebration, she was quoted as saying, “I’ve got six preachers in my family, so I have to be good.”
She saw many advances in technology during her 100 years, including “when radio came to town”. Despite her age, there were some things she never experienced. She never flew in an airplane, or rode a motorcycle. She never even had a driver’s license because during her maiden attempt at driving a car, she tore down the woodpile.
She is preceded in death by her parents, three brothers: John Lewis, Jack and Arch, her husband, Edward, and her grandson, Jimmy Sims. She is survived by her sister, Della Fraser of Jacksonville, sister-in-law, Faye Finch, of Sherwood, four children: Fred and wife Ann of Memphis, Tennessee, David and wife Geneva of Little Rock, Roberta Sims of North Little Rock, and Jackie Shuffield of North Little Rock. She was the grandmother to 16 grandchildren, 32 great-grandchildren, and 26 great-great-grandchildren. Those who knew her best, and loved her most called her Momma, Great Mamaw, Mamaw, or Mamaw B. Elsie Bentley exemplified mercy, dignity, and grace in her life and in her death.
The family will receive visitors at North Little Rock Funeral Home, located at 1921 Main Street, North Little Rock, from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, June 2. The funeral will be held Friday morning at 10:00 a.m. at North Little Rock Funeral Home, with interment at Concord Cemetery, Lonoke County. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Life Unlimited Christian Fellowship, P.O. Box 4078, Little Rock, 72214. Online obituary and guest registry at www.nlrfh.com.