1928 — 2019
A major academic voice in Utah Theatre Education is silent today June 8, 2019. Marion was a consummate academic and a gentleman who brought London Theatre and Broadway Musicals to Utah’s Dixie. Marion was born in St. George October 27, 1928 of Herbert Roy and Leonora Snow Bentley. Bentley graduated Dixie High School and Dixie College (Valedictorian); Drama School and Summer Stock, Plymouth and Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts; University of Utah (High Honors Graduate, Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, Theta Alpha Phi); Stanford University (Masters, Henry Newell Scholar); and University of Utah Doctoral Program with Theatre Studies in London: Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts; Central School of Speech and Drama; London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts; and Webber-Douglas School in London, England.
From 1954 until 1968, Bentley was a professor at Dixie College, where he met and eventually married DeAnna Hawkins. In 1968 they went to New Jersey’s ivy-league Rutgers University and ultimately Brigham Young University. Bentley’s supreme, unequaled dedication to his student’s lives was ever foremost his focus.
Beginning in 1972, Bentley took international tours to Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Bali, Japan, China, Russia, Africa, and three around the world trips. He planned and led a group of 40 students on a month-long tour of continental Europe during Study Abroad programs in London in 1986 and 1992.
Bentley put on more than fifty-five theater productions from Shakespeare to Sondheim, and after retirement, continued to direct plays at Tuacahn in St. George, while on its board of directors. He also served as a member of the Provo City Arts Council, Utah Arts Council, Utah Theatre Association, and Association for Theatre in Higher Education.
Bentley served as a Military Training Officer in the U.S. Air Force from 1951-1953. A life-long member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he served as a teacher, bishop twice, a High Councilor and Counselor in Stake Presidencies, and was a Home Teacher until November 2nd when he fell. He passed away peacefully in his sleep on June 8, 2019.
Marion took pride in his sisters (Alice Holland, Erma Sandburg, Mildred Dailey, Helen Nisson Jolley), brother (Herbert) and son Shawn who preceded him in passing. He is survived by wife DeAnna Hawkins Bentley of Provo and sons Jared of Alpine [Amanda and children Addison (William Montgomery), Jacob (Jessica), Ethan, Hannah, Joshua, Samuel]; Derek of Las Vegas, NV; Justin of Burbank, CA [Claudette and daughters Luna and Stella]; Christopher and Richard Gavin of Provo [Nicole and children Bianca, Christian, David]; and Shawn’s wife Becky and daughters Kathryn and Samantha of Fairfax, Virginia.
Funeral services: Saturday, June 22nd at 11:00 a.m. (9:00-10:45 a.m. viewing) at the Oak Hills Stake Center, 925 North Temple Drive, Provo. Graveside services will be held June 24th at 11:30 a.m. at St. George City Cemetery, 650 E Tabernacle St, St. George. In lieu of flowers enjoy the theatre! To express condolences visit www.NelsonMortuary.com.