Judith Ann Bentley, 81

Judith Ann Bentley

Graveside services for Judith Ann Bentley, 81, of West Plains, will be held at 2 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 10, 2022, at Oak Lawn Cemetery, under the direction of Robertson-Drago Funeral Home.   

Following the service, a celebration of Judy’s life and reunion of friends and relatives will be held at her West Plains residence. 

Mrs. Bentley died at 9:11 a.m., Aug. 22, at her home.   

She was born Aug. 19, 1941, to Joe T. Faulkner and Margaruite Marie Brasher Faulkner Cole, in Paragould, Arkansas. 

Judy moved to West Plains while in junior high, becoming a Zizzer like her two older brothers K. Don and Joe E. Faulkner. 

Her mother, Marie Cole, was the owner of the Cinderella Café on the square in West Plains at that time, a popular gathering place and location of many good memories. 

She graduated in 1959 and married her high school sweetheart James (Jim) Royce Bentley on Jan. 24, 1960.  

Judy worked at Brill Title Company in West Plains and had several similar jobs in Rolla while Jim completed his civil engineering degree. After Jim’s graduation, they returned to West Plains where he worked for the Missouri Department of Transportation until an opportunity with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers took them and their two small daughters, Pam and Jennifer, to Memphis, Tennessee. 

Judy managed the household as they raised the girls and a son Christopher who was born in 1970.   

In 1977, Jim, Judy and family moved to Vicksburg, Mississippi, where Jim worked for the Lower Mississippi Valley Division of the Corps. Judy became an avid bird watcher and enthusiast, developing a life-long interest in all things to do with birds – even joining a local birding group named the “Vicksbirders”. Throughout Jim’s long career with the Corps of Engineers, Judy accompanied him on many river trips and outdoor events, traveling extensively and adding to her life list of bird sightings.  

After their three children graduated from Mississippi State University, Judy fulfilled her goal of attending college herself, completing her Bachelor’s Degree in English, graduating with honors from Mississippi College in Clinton, Mississippi. 

She was an enthusiastic volunteer in her community, helping with everything from working with special needs children to chairing church committees and food drives. 

Judy was known for her kind and generous heart, reaching out to others who needed anything with which she could assist.  

After Jim’s retirement in 1995, the couple moved back to their beloved West Plains, where they reconnected with many dear friends and relatives. 

Jim died in 2007, and Judy then focused on her volunteer efforts, her family and her friends. 

Her heart was filled and her faith made stronger by her membership at First United Methodist Church, where she worked with such projects as Vacation Bible School and Christ’s Kitchen, a particular labor of love for her. She also volunteered at Ozarks Medical Center (now Ozarks Healthcare), providing hospice companionship and working at the hospital’s thrift store. 

Her most recent personal project was to provide a greeting card ministry to any and all people who might need to receive a “hug” or acknowledgement in their mailbox. Judy also loved to receive mail herself, and was especially grateful for the hundreds of cards and messages she received during her long, final health battle. 

She was a member of P.E.O. Chapter CM, through which she gained many treasured friendships. 

Judy is survived by her three children: Pamela Dale and husband Brad of Tecumseh, Jennifer Booher and husband Michael of Hernando, Mississippi and James Christopher Bentley and wife Ivonne of Collierville, Tennessee; her much-loved grandchildren: Shelby Dale Martin and husband Brent of Cato, Mississippi, Samuel Booher and wife Laura of Hernando, Mississippi, Jackson Bentley and partner Veronica Bristol of Madison, Tennessee and Sophia Bentley of Collierville, Tennessee; two great-grandchildren were her pride and joy, Millie Grae Martin and Maddyx Claire Martin of Cato, Mississippi; a very dear and special friend, Donna Hall, of West Plains, provided much love and support for Judy when it was most needed; one brother, K. Don Faulkner of Fort Myers, Florida; four sisters: Lucy Maples and husband Larry of Knoxville, Tennessee, Carolyn Maples and husband Wally of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Nancy Northern and husband Donnie of Hermitage, Tennessee; Mary Ann Hull of Oak Ridge, Tennessee; and several nieces and nephews. 

Her parents, husband and one brother, Joe E. Faulkner, preceded her in death. 

Many prayers of gratitude are given for the support and love from Judy’s many friends and relatives throughout her illness, as well as the caregivers and medical personnel who helped her so graciously and with such expertise.  

Memorial contributions may be made to Shaw Cancer Center of Ozarks Healthcare or Ozarks Healthcare Hospice and may be left at or mailed to Robertson-Drago Funeral Home, 211 West Main, West Plains, MO  65775. Online condolences may be expressed at www.robertsondrago.com.    

Ozark County Times

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PO Box 188
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Phone: (417) 679-4641
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