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Jim was born in Akron, Ohio to Eugene and Lillian (Champion) Bent and attended Kenmore High School. He lived there until he enlisted in the Army in 1967 where he was called overseas to serve in Germany. According to his nieces and nephews, he was a fun-loving Uncle, and they have fond memories of exchanging letters with him in the service, watching Wylie Coyote and the Roadrunner cartoons with him, going shooting with him, going over to his house to visit, visiting him while living in Arizona and he was even known to hand out pieces of cardboard to ride down grassy hills at the park.
In 1968, he was in a debilitating car accident which required him to retire early from the Army. After he recovered, he met his future wife Joan (Funke). They fell wildly in love and were married in December of 1969. They were married for 51 years and she was there beside him through it all. Just last year, they had a celebration with family and friends for their 50th wedding anniversary, that people still reminisce about today. Many enjoyed riding on the “party bus” to and from the restaurant blasting oldie jams like Elvis, which was one of Jim’s favorites!
They have two daughters together. Their firstborn, Stacy Ann Davis, lives in Ohio with her husband Scott and daughter Sarah Christine Goliath. Her sons are Jacob Allan Goliath and Mason Craig Goliath. Her oldest son, Craig James (CJ) Goliath is meeting his grandfather for the first time in heaven.
Their second daughter, Christina Louise King, lives in Mesa, Arizona with her husband Jody and their two children, Ethan Jody King and Emma Lilianne King.
Jim, Joan, and their little family moved from Ohio to Arizona in 1981. Residing in Mesa where many good life-long friends were made, and many cherished, Ohioan friends visited. His garage was “Always Open” for happy hour and he loved the many friends that would drop by for a cold beer and a friendly chat. A common theme of remembrance from those who knew him is that he was: charismatic and witty, always had cold brew in the fridge, had a contagious laugh, was a profound thinker, a slight rule-braker, was always happy for other people’s successes and would do all the bragging for them, and was always reliable to help at a moment’s notice. He was a man’s man that his friends could count on and a big, sweet teddy bear to his wife, sisters, daughters, nieces, and grandkids. He retired in 2007 from Honeywell (previously Garrett and Allied Signal) as a skilled hand finisher in the aerospace industry.
He enjoyed all types of motor sports including NASCAR and drag racing and especially loved sharing in those activities with his grandsons and son-in-law. He was also known to play with a doll or two and casually chat with his granddaughters. We guess his favorite holiday was Easter not only because he was a Christian, but every Easter morning he was out following his grandkids in search for hidden eggs. He loved finding the undiscovered eggs before the kids had a chance to find them and then watched them as they found them all.
Jim was an avid “Mayberry” fan and although he had seen every episode at least 100 times, he still enjoyed watching it frequently. He also enjoyed a good western, especially Bonanza staring “The Duke” and Gunsmoke. Additionally, he would never pass by a good episode of I Love Lucy, The Carol Burnett Show, and Happy Days as he loved many of the classics.
He loved to cook up a good BBQ on Sunday afternoon and as his grandson Ethan says, “It seems like Grandma and Grandpa loved to make potatoes with almost any meal ranging from regular mashed potatoes to her famous scalloped/cheesy potatoes.” Jim later passed the BBQ baton to Jody, who felt like a son to him. Jim loved to sit outside and watch how Jody cooked on the BBQ as well as talk to him about life. Jim respected him greatly for helping his daughter fight and overcome her cancer battle while taking care of the kids and house; all while working his full-time job.
In 2015, Scott was welcomed into the family as a second son. Jim had much respect for Scott and how much he loved and protected his daughter and her children. Scott fit right into the family being the kind-hearted person he is. Scott also enjoys watching classic westerns, which was a plus in Jim’s book!
He is survived by his sisters Marilyn Steele and Nancy Del Bove. Preceded by his brother Richard Bent, who is survived by his wife, Sandy Bent.
A graveside service will be held on Friday, January 29, 2021 at 11:00 AM (AZ – MST)/1:00 PM (OH – EST). Guests are welcome to attend. Service is outdoors with adequate room for social distancing.
Mountain View Funeral Home is located at 7900 E. Main Street, Mesa, Arizona 85207
Burial will be off Good Shepard Drive near the eastern cul-de-sac in the Hope Garden.
* For those who are out of state or unable to attend, there will be a live stream through Zoom.
To attend services virtually please follow the link below. This link becomes available 15 minutes prior to scheduled service time.
Meeting ID: 861 6997 6279
A socially distant gathering will be held immediately after services in the backyard at the Bent residence. Reception access will be through the back yard gate only.
Donations and Flowers
Our family is asking loved ones to consider a donation to one of the charities below in lieu of flowers. However, if you prefer sending flowers, you may click on the “Send Flowers” link to place an order with the local florist.
The Villa Hospice
Dad (Jim) received great care here during his last days. The staff and nurses were a blessing in our family’s time of need. They treated us like family, kept him comfortable, and us informed. Their chaplain visited him frequently, which he liked. She would chat with him about his family, pray with him, and read scriptures to him when all he could do was listen.
Mail a Check Made Payable to:
Americare Hospice Foundation
1212 N. Spencer Street, Suite 2
Mesa, AZ 85203
Please add “James Bent” in the memo portion of your check.
An acknowledgement letter will be sent to you as your receipt for tax purposes.
(Sorry, credit cards are not accepted by this foundation.)
Fisher House – Helping Military Families
Jim was a proud veteran and loved his country. He was honored to serve in the Army and had much respect for his military brothers and sisters who served. We reached out to Jim’s Great Nephew, Jeremy Evans, to find a commendable organization within the military community to support.
First Sergeant Jeremy Evans (USA Army, Retired) directed us to the Fisher House, where he volunteered his time while living in Hawaii. The foundation provides a place for military families to stay while their service member is undergoing medical treatment.
To make a Memorial Donation Visit: