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YOUNGSTOWN – Services will be Thursday, July 18, 2013, at 11 a.m. at the New Bethel Baptist Church for Mr. Claude W. Bentley Jr., 63, who entered eternal rest on Friday, July 12, 2013, at St. Elizabeth Health Center in Youngstown.

Mr. Bentley was born Dec. 11, 1949, in Youngstown, a son of Claude W. Sr. and Effie Mae Black Bentley.

He was a 1968 graduate of South High School. He received his B.S. in Education from Youngstown State University in 1974 and his M.S. Degree in Secondary Principalship (Administration) from YSU in 1986.

His professional experience included, Utility Administrator for Williamson Elementary School, Wilson High School, P. Ross Berry and Athena, and Utility Administrator/Dean at Chaney High School. He was also Principal of summer school, Administrative Assistant - John White Learning Center (Youngstown City Schools, Instruction Department (health/physical education/athletics) – Irene Ward Building, Principal of The Rayen School, East High School, Choffin (summer school and proficiency program, and Y.E.T.C. work study program summer school, East High School), Administrator - proficiency summer program at Choffin, Assistant Principal - East High School, and teacher on special assignment - South High School.

Claude was also member of Academic Excellence Committee, East High School. He served as recruitment and training program, summer youth program career counselor, classroom teacher - health and physical education East High School, assistant boys basketball coach at East High School, head coach for girls track at East High School, senior class advisor at East High School, head boys basketball coach at East High School, Youngstown Employment and Training Program (corp.), and CETA Summer Youth Program and summer aide supervisor (job description similar to OWA/OWE responsibilities in Youngstown City Schools).

Mr. Bentley’s affiliations included Civil Service Commissioner (Past President), American Red Cross Instructor, Youngstown State University Alumni Association, Mahoning Valley Coaches Association (Past President), board member for the Youngstown Alcoholic Clinic, board member for the Mahoning Valley Dispute Resolution Services, board member for the Juvenile Justice Center Community Committee (2002 to present), board member for the Ohio Principals Leadership Academy (2000 to present), committee member (education) - Commission on Socially Disadvantaged Black Males - commission (Mayor’s office), mentor - Young Scholars Program, YMCA volunteer, Brotherhood Organization (The New Bethel Baptist Church), commissioner of the Midnight Basketball League, Reachback Project (mentor) H.U.G.S. / R.E.A.C.H. Chemical Abuse Programs (Youngstown City School) High School/Black Males, life time honorary member of the Buckeye Elks Lodge, Who’s Who Committee for senior citizens; Black Knights Honorary Member (Education Committee); Leadership Mahoning Valley Program Member; Ebony Lifeline Man of the Year 2002; Trailblazer Award 1998; VFW Ebony Lifeline Man of the Year; Black Educators Committee; YSU Athletic Hall of Fame Committee; East High School Panthers Boys Basketball Boosters Club Member; and was a 2000 Inductee of East High School Hall of Fame.

He leaves to forever cherish his memories, his beloved wife and the “Love Of His Life,” the former Susan Minor, whom he married Aug. 16, 1975; two sons, Claude W. Bentley III and Jonathan A. Bentley; granddaughter, Cayla J. Bentley; step granddaughter, Malaysia Hunter; his brother, Floyd (Beatrice) Bentley; sisters, Erlene Bentley, Karen (John) Averhart, Lynette (Rev. Gary) Frost and Kim Howard; sister-in-laws, Delores (Emanuel) Cabrere and Darlene Pickard; and a host of loving family and friends.

Waiting for him at Heaven’s Gate were his parents, Claude Sr. and Effie Mae; his in-laws, Eugene and Willie Mae Minor; brother-in-law, John Averhart; and his grandparents.

Friends may call Wednesday, July 17, 2013, from 6 to 8 p.m. and on Thursday from 10 to 11 a.m. at the New Bethel Baptist Church, where funeral services will follow at 11 a.m.

The family wishes to thank the nurses and staff in the NSEU Critical Care Unit of St. Elizabeth Health Center, Hospice of the Valley, and East Liverpool Hos pital Emergency Room Staff.

Arrangements entrusted to the L.E. Black, Phillips & Holden Funeral Home.

Guestbook Entries

In Honor of Mr. Bentley.

“I’ve never forgotten Mr. Bentley. He was my 9th grade East High School track coach. An outstanding person. It didn’t matter if we won or lost a race, he still treated us with the same respect. 44 years later and he continues to have a positive impact on my life. ”

 » Jose A Medina on January 24, 2018

“Dear Erlene and the Bentley family, my prayers. Claude lived such a full life in such a short time. I shall remember our days in school and the fun we had. He was smart in school and made a difference in our community. He was a role model for my nephews and many of the Black males. Love,”

 » Lynnie Whipple Gamble on July 16, 2013

“My sincerest condolences for the family. Mr. Bentley was a phenomenal inspiration to so many and his abscence will be felt throughout the community. ”

 » Tina Hernandez-Ridge on July 15, 2013

“My sincerest condolences for the family. Mr. Bentley was a phenomenal inspiration to so many and his abscence will be felt throughout the community. ”

 » Tina Hernandez-Ridge on July 15, 2013


“Mr.Bentley was a very nice man to work with and he cared about the children that he can in contact with whether you had him as a principle or not I will miss he a lot we always talk to each other when we seen each other.To the Family you have my condolences.”

 » Lelia Boyd-Davis on July 16, 2013

“To the Bentley Family this was one of the greatest track coach that I have ever had not only a coach such a wonderful mentor in the track team of 1982 may you R.I.P. ”

 » Kimberly  on July 16, 2013

“To the family, we the public feel as though a celebrity has gone on. If you encountered him you would soon love him. He is an educator that is not often seen and we appreciate all that he has done. From the Watson-Barnett-Snipes Families. May God keep you in his care at your hour of bereavment. ”

 » Starlette Snipes on July 16, 2013

“Susan and family, my heart and prayers are with you at this time of great loss. Claude, a gentleman who was warm and giving with his time and his heart will be missed by all. God, I am sure has a special need and plan that we may not understand now but will come to some day. Peace be with you. ”

 » Miriam Warren on July 16, 2013

“Mrs. Bentley, Claude III and Jonathan, you have my deepest most heartfelt condolences in the loss of your husband/father. I know that he could never mean more to me than he does to you but I must say that it's pretty close. Mr. Bentley came into my life as I was trying to come to terms with the death of my father and he never stopped being a source of comfort, support and admiration. I would like to thank you for selflessly sharing your husband/father with the rest of us. He has touched so many lives and made a difference for so many. He truly believed in the ideology of each one teach one and he eagerly provided the model for us all to follow. He was a great man and he will be greatly and sadly missed by many. I will forever keep you in my prayers. Stephanie Hubbard_Bryant and Family”

 » Stephanie Hubbard-Bryant on July 16, 2013

Former WGH assistant basketball coach

“I would like to extend my deepest condolences to the Bentley family.As a player for Warren Western Reserve in the 80's I met coach Bentley and admired and respected him as a coach and as a coach years later the feelings never changed. Coach Bentley always showed love and respect to the Warren Basketball program which was greatly appreciated.”

 » Gregory Jackson on July 16, 2013

“May God comfort the family, those Mr. Bentley mentored, and friends during this time. "Once a Bear...Always a Bear".”

 » Arthur Lemons, Jr.  on July 16, 2013


“Heartfelt sympathy to all of you. May God comfort you during this difficult time.”

 » Diane Parkman-Clark on July 16, 2013

“Claude and family, words can not express how truly sorry I am for your loss. Mr Bentley was great man and I am so blessed to have known him, you all are in my prayers.”

 » linda long on July 16, 2013

“Thank God for the time we had with him. He was definitely a blessing to all that knew him. R.I.H”

 » Stephanie Dawson-Lloyd on July 16, 2013

Former Student (South High)/ Co-Worker (The Rayen School)

“You were an awesome role model, male figure and friend to us all. Having you in my life changed me for the better. Your memory will be cherished forever.”

 » LoVetta Jenkins on July 16, 2013

“May God comfort the family and know Mr. Bently was an inspiration to all who knew him. He leaves behind a legacy that will be echoed through the community. ”

 » Lenora Pettiford on July 16, 2013

“My deep condolences to the Bentley's hard to say good bye when your heart can't let go...may god bless the family cause he is in a better place ”

 » SaBrina Woods-Dorsey on July 16, 2013

“Lynette, Pastor Gary, and the entire Bentley family, we're praying for God's comfort and peace. We know that you know God is carrying you through this storm and will be with you all the way. Know that we love you and care for you.”

 » Deborah Cunningham on July 16, 2013

Good Friend

“My condolences and prayers for the family. Claude was and always will be someone whom I've been blessed to know and love as a friend and brother. RIP”

 » Jimmie Brown on July 16, 2013

Albany, Ga.

“My sincere condolences to the Bentley family. Claude was a wonderful person and he will be deeply missed. God makes no mistakes. Be strong and I want you to know I love you all. Cousin Cheekie”

 » Chithea Summers-Robinson on July 16, 2013

“Claude was loved by so many, and will be missed by us all. May God grant you strength along with many blessed memories to carry on.”

 » Deborah McElroy on July 16, 2013

“God has picked a beautiful flower from earths garden and placed it in his eternal and beautiful home. To Susan, Lynette, Erlene and all of the family and friends may God give you the strength to courageously make it through this devastating time. Claude was a true forever friend to me and will always be in our hearts. Peace, Comfort and Love to all.”

 » Alvanetta Curry-Cribbs on July 16, 2013

“I was very saddened to learn of the passing of Mr. Bentley, and would like to offer my deepest condolences to his family, friends, co-workers, and all the students and student-athletes fortunate enough to know him. While I only had the pleasure of crossing paths with him a few times, he was one of those people who made an impact on everyone and everything. He was an inspiration to so many of us, and I hope those dear to him find comfort in knowing that his memory and teachings will live on.”

 » anonymous on July 16, 2013

“I am deeply troubled by the loss of Mr. Bentley. He was a shining example of a great husband, father, teacher, coach, trustee and community leader. He served our community with distinction, class and integrity. Rest in Peace. May God grant Mr. Bentley's wife, children and extended family with peace and love.”

 » Herman L. Hill on July 16, 2013

“To the Bentley Family I would like to Offer my Heart felt condolences, Claude Bently was a Great Man.”

 » David A. Patton on July 17, 2013

YSU teammate

“They don't come any better than Claude. My sincere condolences to his wife and family. Rest in Peace my friend.”

 » Billy Johnson on July 16, 2013

“Even in our sadness we give God all Glory and Honor. God has truly blessed us to know Claude. He had an excellent spirit and was always a pleasure to be around. I pray we remember every experience. We will miss Youngstown's own Big Brother!”

 » Sheri Ivy Myrick on July 16, 2013


“This city has lost a great mentor and leader and father figure to so many, including me , mrs Bentley my prayers goes out to you and the family. Love ya!!”

 » Tyrone r.Treece on July 16, 2013

Deepest Condolences 2The Bentley

“To the Bentley Family, May God Bless & Keep you all in His Loving Care I'm a good friend 2 Mr.& Mrs. Floyd&Beatrice Bentley & Children.Our Prayers is with you all in this time of sorrow.”

 » Lisa Reed-Baker,Rita Morgan,&Antonio Baker Jr. on July 16, 2013

“You were a great educator, mentor, principal and person overall. You've touched many lives and will be missed. My heart, prayers and condolences go out to the family. ”

 » Talisa Caaey on July 16, 2013

“Mr. Bentley was loved by everyone who knew him. I was a junior at South High when he worked there and I am forever grateful for the words of wisdom he gave me. Rest in the Masters hands Mr. Bentley. ”

 » Tanika Harrison on July 16, 2013

“My prayers and thoughts are with you and your family in your time of sorrow.”

 » Cecil carnathan on July 16, 2013


“Claude was a dear friend to me. We have shared so much and he was a blessing to all. Know that God makes no mistakes. A true gentleman he was may God give you peace and comfort during this difficult time.You are all in my prayers.”

 » Alphonso Clark on July 17, 2013


“We will both sadly miss you very much and we have your family in our prayers”

 » May & Tonya Weaver on July 17, 2013


“We will both sadly miss you very much and we have your family in our prayers”

 » May & Tonya Weaver on July 17, 2013

“Susan and the entire Bentley Family: We often wonder why we lose the gifted people among us, those that give of themselves, selflessly, and make our community, and the world a better place. Though we don't understand why, and are hurt beyond measure; we are not to question. God has a greater plan, and has chosen those he wants by his side in eternity. My sincere love and prayers are with you all. ”

 » Linda Anglin Booker on July 16, 2013

“To Susan,children,family and friends,GOD called home one of his Giants,Claude was loved by so many people and he touched so many young lives and families,Claude was a true public servant.Now as we go to eulogize Claude,remember to Eulogize him means to celebrate and honor the good that Claude did,mourning is for sad occasions,this is a celebration of a life well lived.”

 » Charles Traylor on July 17, 2013

Memphis, TN

“We are sorry for your loss, Claude was such a great person, he will live on in our memories forever.”

 » Phyllis Jackson-Stone on July 17, 2013


““My sincere condolences to the Bentley family. Claude was a wonderful person and he will be deeply missed. R.I.P my friend.”

 » FAT CAT on July 17, 2013

Adopt-a-School Program Liaison

“Our young men have lost a role model whose shoes will be difficult to fill. Claude had a way of making everyone feel special by greeting us with a cheerful smile and a warm embrace. Our colleague has left us too soon. Susan and family, please know that you are surrounded by love of the community who grieves with you.”

 » Dr. Martha Bruce on July 17, 2013

“My deepest condolences to the family. Mr. Bentley was certainly a positive & influential man that was active in the community & school system he selfishly served. He will be fondly remembered by all that knew him.”

 » Stacey M. Bryant on July 17, 2013

“My big brother Claude always gave me the impression that I mattered. Thanks for being there when I needed you Claude. My condolences to the family. ”

 » David Ivy on July 17, 2013

He was a Teacher for a Mom-Son-Daughter/Alli

“ Mr. Bentley was my Teacher at East High School and than became my children Principal at E.H.S. We are thankful for his mentoring and support in are Family. Also for being such a wonderful supportive customer at my Son Kenny Alli Barber Shop- In The Cut. We miss Him a lot. With our sincere condolences and are in are Prayer. The Alli Family.”

 » Carolyn-Kenny-KiKi Alli on July 17, 2013

“I just want to send my condolences out to the family of Mr. Bentley. He was a GREAT man. He will definitely be missed. ”

 » Brittney Pegram on July 17, 2013

“My deepest condolences to your family for a huge loss...the community and school district will feel the loss as well. I'm glad I got to know Claude and his gentlemans way of living. RIP Claude 😢🙏”

 » Shirley Barnett on July 17, 2013

“To Bently Family you have my deepest sympathy in the loss of such a great husband,father,grandfather,brother,uncle,mentorto all of our children whose live that he has touch what a great impact that he made. We will never forget this man that you called "Claude Bently" who touch everyone life may he R.I.P. Because he left some big shoes to fill. ”

 » Amelia Rogers Family on July 17, 2013

“To Bently Family you have my deepest sympathy in the loss of such a great husband,father,grandfather,brother,uncle,mentor to all children live that he has touch what a great impact that he made. We will never forget this man that you called "Claude Bently" who touch everyone life may he R.I.P. Because he left some big shoes to fill. ”

 » Amelia Rogers Family on July 17, 2013

“Too the family of Mr.Bentley may god comfort you during this difficult time .Mr.Bentley was great leader he will truly be missed .c/o 89 south high”

 » leslie colyar on July 17, 2013


“my sincerest condolence to Bently in the passing of your love one Mr. Bentley may God comfort & strengthen you in your time of need ,Mr. Bentley was a very nice person with a awesome spirit when u saw him he always had a smile on his face & we know that he is still smiling down on us ,another angel has enter into the gate of heaven .Mr. Bentley will be miss by so many that Love him & he was a Man of God .R.I.H. Mr. Bentley .”

 » Denise Gibbs -White on July 17, 2013


“You are not alone in your sorrow, my sincerest condolence. It was a pleasure to have known you. A great teacher and a great principle. You brought leadership to South High School. Your leadership taught us how to become leaders. You truly will be missed but definitely not forgotten. RIP Mr Bentley. c/o 1989”

 » Tasha Wilburn on July 17, 2013

“Mr. Bentley was the best principal i ever had at east high school. He always kept me in line. He will be sadly missed.”

 » sonya bebbs on July 17, 2013

“Deepest sympathy to the Bentley Family. Our prayers and thought are with you during these difficult times. Rest in peace my dear friend. Alan and Kitty Williams”

 » Alan and Kitty Williams on July 17, 2013

“To the Bentley Family, my prayers go out to you. I enjoyed having Mr. Bently as a assistant principal at the old East High School. He was well known and well liked. God Bless”

 » Tianna Posey on July 17, 2013

Chattanooga Tennessee

“He is was and always will be a great man! Well done my brother!”

 » John A. Carter on July 17, 2013

Denver, CO (Class of '91)

“Far too early for a man of Mr. Bentley's reach and influence. I'll always fondly remember my four years with him at East. Farewell, Sir. ”

 » Archie Kelly on July 18, 2013

“Hi Mr. Bentley this is Kanichole Harris from East High Golden Bears it is so sad to see you gone you will be very well missed. You was a great man who kept me out of trouble and Im so sorry i cant be there for your way home my job want let me ”

 » Kanichole Harris on July 18, 2013

East High Golden Bear

“My prayers and condolences go out to the family... He will truly be missed by anyone who graced his presence.. May God be with you at your time of need. ”

 » Michelle Daniel on July 18, 2013

A Legacy To Remember

“Mr. Bentley influenced several generations of young adults, myself included. My heart is filled with sadness for the Bentley family and the educational community of Youngstown.”

 » Ammie-Marie Littke on July 19, 2013

Former Administrator Youngstown City Schools

“My condolences to the Bentley family. Cluade was a positive role model for all of the Youngstown City School students.He was always very positive and greeted everyone with a warm smile,a firm handshake and a hug. He will be missed by everyone.”

 » Larry Spires on July 19, 2013

Former YSU Teammate

“It was a privilege and honor to know Claude. The Youngstown area has lost a great man. May his memory be eternal.”

 » Paul Truhan on July 19, 2013

You Will Be Missed

“Mr.Bentley was a wonderful man he accomplished so much in life and inspired so many of us. May he R.I.P. I Send Prayers to all of the family.”

 » Shayla Crocker and The Willis Family on July 23, 2013


“must love rayen grad 2000 great job you will live on forever time to live the better life, your job is done here, but just starting with GOD will miss you, GOD bless your family, and friends, thanks for putting me in the right directtion in life see you soon,much love, (JOE CLARK) ARMSTEAD TUCKER JR”

 » armstead tucker on July 25, 2013

“My deepest sympathy goes out to the Bentley family. Mr. Bentley was a true humanitarian icon to all. Gone, but never to be forgotten. ”

 » Michael Sims on July 26, 2013



 » DEACON CBBC CHURCH on July 28, 2013

“To the Bentley Family, Claude, Erlene, and I have traveled many roads together, for a long time. From grade school to adulthood.I am proud to call Claude a friend and brother. May your memories be happy ones and I know in time, that less tears will fall. Prayers to you and family at this time. Youngstown has lost a great "Citizen". ”

 » Linda Sibley McCall on July 29, 2013

“To my classmate Susan and family, May it comfort you to know that we are still praying for your strength. May the very God of peace comfort your spirit, soul and body in Jesus' Name. Blessings,”

 » Maggie Jones Stanton on August 22, 2013


“My heart goes out to the family sorry to hear about your lost just heard sorry to see Mr Bentley leave us in so short time I just want to thank you for keeping my son on the right path if it wasn't for you he will not have made it this far God bless the family and may peace and blessing be upon your family will truly be missed!!!!!!!”

 » khaadijah on September 2, 2013

“I miss u old man! #1POPS”

 » Claude w Bentley III on July 6, 2016

“3 years today and I still love and miss you. Love your wife. ”

 » Mrs.Susan Bentley on July 12, 2016

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