Ruth Bentley

Ruth Lehmann Bentley (Lehmann)

Sunday, April 26th, 1925 - Thursday, November 21st, 2019
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Dateline – Kennebunk
The family of Ruth Esther Lehmann Bentley would like to share that our matriarch and foundation, departed to be with her Heavenly Father on November 21, 2019, at Huntington Commons in Kennebunk.
Ruth was born April 26, 1925 at the parsonage in Crandon, Wisconsin to Rev. Phillip Lehmann and Elenore Grosnick Lehmann. She grew up in the German communities of Wisconsin, graduating from Reedsburg HS and the University of Wisconsin with a degree in social work. In 1949 she received her MSW from the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St Louis. After working several years, she married 1LT George N. Bentley on November 10, 1951 and they were blessed with 3 children, George Jr, Eleanor, and Anne.

As part of an Air Force family she lived, played church organ, and worked with children in Dayton, Ohio; Layton, Utah; Iwakuni and Tokyo, Japan; Cincinnati, Ohio; St Remy-sur-Avre, France; Topeka, Kansas; Washington, D.C.; and Madrid, Spain. In 1968 her husband became controller of Nasson College in Springvale, Maine, and she lived in Sanford for 29 years. Her focus in life in Sanford was family, church, and children. While there she worked as a social worker for Headstart, the Sanford School District, and Sweetser. She later volunteered at Sweetser in group homes and the crisis center until she turned 92. In 1997 she moved to her son’s house in Kennebunkport where she resided until hospitalization this summer. Her later years were spent volunteering, traveling to visit far flung family and friends, and supporting Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Kennebunk where she was a member for 45 years and the organist for 25 years. Her passions then, as always, were family and friends, classical and sacred music, especially JS Bach, and helping children, teenagers, and adults with mental and behavioral issues. She also served on the boards of York County United Way, Southern Maine Medical, and Sweetser, and was involved in refugee support.

Ruth was predeceased by her husband George in 1991, her parents, sister Doris Urban of Watertown, brother Dr. Arnold Lehmann of Northwestern College in Watertown WI, and Dr. Winfred Lehmann of the University of Texas in Austin.

She is survived by her son COL George Bentley Jr (USAFR), daughters, Eleanor (Gordon) Merrick, and Anne (Fred) Fell; grandchildren George III, Carsten, Thea, and Bjorn Bentley, Jessie (Tom) Herling, Gordon (Jenna) Merrick, and Connor Fell; and great-grandchildren Aiden, Sianna, Eben, and Colin Herling; and many nieces, nephews, and friends.

Collectively we were blessed to have had you so long, and thankful you told us all that it was time for you to be with your Heavenly Father.

In lieu of flowers she desired donations to: Sweetser, Development Office – J2, 50 Moody Street, Saco, Maine 04072; or the Brown School of Washington University, One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO 63130; or Holy Cross Lutheran Church, 2 Lord Street, Kennebunk, ME 04043. As one who was also very generous, she would encourage giving to wherever it is needed.

Visiting hours will be on Saturday, December 7, 2019 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at Bibber Memorial Chapel, 67 Summer Street, Kennebunk, followed by a Funeral Service at 12:00 noon at Holy Cross Lutheran Church, 2 Lord Street, Kennebunk. A luncheon/ reception will be held at the church following the service. Burial will be at a later date, joining her husband in Arlington National Cemetery.

Gib Gott Ehre und habe ein grosszugigies Herz.

To share a memory or leave a message of condolence, please visit Ruth’s Book of Memories Page at

Arrangements are in care of Bibber Memorial Chapel, 67 Summer Street, Kennebunk, ME 04043.
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  • Visitation

    Saturday, December 7th, 2019 | 10:00am - 11:00am
    Saturday, December 7th, 2019 10:00am - 11:00am
    Bibber Memorial Chapel-Kennebunk
    67 Summer Street
    KENNEBUNK, ME 04043
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Saturday, December 7th, 2019 | 12:00pm
    Saturday, December 7th, 2019 12:00pm
    Holy Cross Lutheran Church
    2 Lord Street
    KENNEBUNK, ME 04043
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Pastor Rich Horner
  • Interment

    Arlington National Cemetery
    ARLINGTON, VA 22211
    Burial will be at a later date.


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Christopher Hardman

Posted at 05:34am
I got to know Ruth via her daughter Anne. I live in England and visited Ruth numerous times and had great conversations in person and on the phone. I can remember she would answer the phone with,” Hi Chris” I got to call her my American Mom. It has. been a privilege and an honour to know such a fantastic person and share some of her life. Chris Hardman from England 😢

Ruth and David Leipold

Posted at 02:18pm
We were so sorry to hear about your Mom's passing. I have such nice memories of our times together, playing piano duets and visiting. I'm SO sorry we didn't get to see you today, Anne, Eleanor, and Nelson (George, Jr.?) I had really hoped to see all three of you. We did actually start for Kennebunk this morning, but there was an accident on Main Street, and traffic was diverted. By then we were too late to visit with you. Please know our thoughts have been with you all day. With love to all of you from both of us, Ruth and Dave Leipold and family

Pr Ken & Liv Hauge

Posted at 09:20am
Just learned of Ruth's passing from here into glory. Her family and fiends have much to celebrate being part of her life. We certainly think of her as our special friend in all of the '70's at Holy Cross in Kennebunk. Certainly as she shared her gift of music as organist, especially with her interest in Bach. Also at this time I think of you, Anne, as a special young lady, as friend with my dad,
Marcus Knutzen. Thank you for the joy you gave him. May you be surrounded with the Lord's Presence in His comfort and peace. And one day we will reunite in Glory. Pr Ken and Liv Hauge


Posted at 10:10am
Our Dear Ruth is a treasure to Holy Cross Lutheran church 's History .....
Not only our Organist but faithful member who even in her 90's drove to bible study at 8'30 Am on Wednesday's
Her example of seeking God's will thru prayer and Bible study is a witness of her love of Jesus which was instilled in her as a child ..Loving and faithful parents... Ruth and Bob and I have been truly blest by her words of encouragement both verbally and many hand written notes ( tricky to read but understood )
My Greatest Joy we shared was the love of Music .. our traditional Hymns and a belief that we must value our Lutheran heritage and teach the meaning of it's contents...
Love and Prayers to all her family ....

bettykreie Posted at 10:14am


Carl Pendleton

Posted at 07:16am
Ruth’s dedication to improving the quality of many lives was wonderful. Sweetser staff and those the organization serves, children and adults alike, were the grateful recipients of her love. My admiration Carl Pendleton, retired CEO.

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