Harold D. Bentley, 90, of Big Spring died Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013, in a local nursing home. Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 2, 2013, at Nalley-Pickle & Welch Rosewood Chapel with Don Brodie officiating. Interment will follow at Trinity Memorial Park.
The family will receive friends from 7 p.m. until 8 p.m. Friday, March 1, 2013, at the funeral home.
Harold was born an only child to Lawrence D. and Emma Estelle (Ivie) Bentley in Limestone County, Texas, on Feb. 15, 1923. He graduated from Rotan High School in 1942 and continued his education at Howard Payne College.
While at college, Harold enlisted in the United States Army in March, 1943, to serve his country in World War II. He bravely served as a combat infantryman, seeing action in France, Belgium, Germany, Hungary and Czechoslovakia. After being honorably discharged in 1946, Harold returned to Howard Payne where he played varsity football and graduated in 1948.
He went on to teach history and coach football, first at Electra, Texas, then Blanket, Texas, and finally at Big Spring. Coach Bentley was on the Big Spring coaching staff whose team went to the state finals in 1953 and although they lost that game, he was very proud of that team.
In the early years of teaching, Harold would go to work roughnecking in the oil fields during his summers off.
Harold married the love of his life, Alice Ann Higgins, on Nov. 24, 1956. For the next three years, he attended summer classes at Sul Ross State College to earn his masters degree in education so he could go into school administration.
In 1966, Harold and Alice took into their home his two teen-aged sons from his previous marriage, giving them stability for which they are both forever grateful.
Harold retired as assistant superintendent of Big Spring Independent School District in 1985 and he and Alice took to the road in their RV. They both enjoyed seeing the country and socializing with friends they made along the way.
As Alice's health began to fail, he became progressively involved in her care with help from Alice’s best friend, Kathy Caudill. Alice passed in June, 2006, just five months before their 50th wedding anniversary. He has now gone to be with Alice.
Survivors include son, Dana D. Bentley and granddaughter Molly, both of Austin; son, Robert D. Bentley and wife Cheryll of Los Angeles, Calif.; and daughter-in-spirit, Kathy Caudill of Big Spring.
Pallbearers will be Harvey Rothell, Glenn Fillingim, Steve Smith, Craig Caudill, Clint Caudill and Josh Caudill. Honorary pallbearers will be the Chapel Sunday School Class of First Baptist Church, the Big Spring ISD 70s-80s administration, Roger Goertz, L.K. Gladden, Robert Blassingame, Dr. Wayne Bonner and Misty Fischer.
Arrangements are under the direction of Nalley-Pickle & Welch Funeral Home & Crematory of Big Spring. Online condolences can be made at: www.npwelch.com