The Passing of M. Elaine Bentley

To the Williams community,

I was saddened today to learn of the passing of a college retiree. M. Elaine Bentley, 84, of Adams, who worked for the college from 1972 until her retirement as a custodian in 2001, died on March 31 at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center in Bennington, Vt.

In her retirement citation, it was noted that Elaine was always interested in getting to know and helping the students in the buildings where she worked. She is particularly remembered for helping one of our disabled students at a time when awareness of the challenges people with disabilities faced was low and accommodations were few. Elaine would help him prepare for class, and even get him to class on occasion.

Born in Clarksburg in 1933, Elaine graduated from Drury High School in North Adams. She was an active member of the First Baptist Church of North Adams, where she served on many committees and participated as a member of the hand bell and sanctuary choirs. She enjoyed gardening, crocheting, and playing cards and Scrabble. An avid bowler, she was a longtime member of leagues at Mount Greylock Bowl and Valley Park Lanes.

Surviving are her husband of 60 years, Ray O. Bentley; three daughters, Ruth Goyette and her husband, Paul, of Adams, Kim Tabarini and her husband, Carlos, of Star, Idaho, and Patricia Jack of Sarasota, Fla.; two sons, David Bentley and his wife, April, of Clarksburg, and Dennis Bentley and his wife, Lisa, of Lunenberg, Mass.; a sister, Betty Demarsico and her husband, Donald, of North Adams; 12 grandchildren, several great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild; and several nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by two brothers, John and Raymond Blair, and by two sisters, Helen Hluboky and Ruth Blair.

Funeral services for Elaine will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at the First Baptist Church in North Adams. Calling hours are at 10 a.m. Friday at the church prior to the funeral services. Burial will be later in the spring in Clarksburg Cemetery. Paciorek Funeral Home in Adams is handling arrangements.

Our thoughts are with Elaine’s family and friends.

Adam Falk