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04/04/11 - NNHS Newsletter
Mr. Bentley Anderson

Bentley B. Anderson
(08 Jan 1939 - 30 Mar 2011)

Maury High School Class of  @ 1956
Newport News High School Faculty

Dear Friends and Schoolmates,   

   We have still more sad news to report somewhat belatedly this Monday morning.  Former Newport News High School drama teacher,    Bentley Anderson, Maury High School Class of @ 1956, passed away in Virginia Beach on Monday, March 30, 2011 at the age of 72. 

From Dale Parsons ('69) of HI - 04/03/11, 9:11 PM - "Obituary":

Aloha Carol,

Here is the obituary for
 Bentley Anderson, who was the NNHS Drama teacher after  Miss Crane’s retirement... Since there wasn’t much in the online Daily Press obituary, here is some additional information from the funeral home site...

Thought I’d pass this along for your information.

--Dale Parsons ‘69

   Thank you so much, Dale. I never would have known Mr. Anderson was one of our teachers had you not brought it to my attention. My sincerest sympathies on the loss of your mentor.

From the Daily Press - 04/02/11:

                     Bentley B. Anderson
  VIRGINIA BEACH - Bentley B. Anderson, 72, Professor Emeritus of Theater/Speech Communications at Virginia Wesleyan College, died Wednesday, March 30, 2011.

Condolences can be made at View and post condolences on our online guestbook at

Published in Daily Press from April 2 to April 3, 2011.

Visit Guest Book



                          Bentley B. Anderson
    VIRGINIA BEACH - Bentley B. Anderson, 72, Professor Emeritus of Theater/Speech Communications at Virginia Wesleyan College, died Wednesday, March 30, in Seaside at Atlantic Shores nursing facility after struggling over 10 years with Alzheimer's.

Bentley was a Berkley boy from Norfolk, VA, and was graduated from Maury High School; he received his BFA in Drama from Carnegie Institute of Technology, an MA from Wake Forest and his MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University. An Eagle Scout in his youth, the scouts' code of honor, loyalty, courage, cheerfulness and service stayed with him all his life.
Bentley Anderson
Bentley loved his 34 years at Virginia Wesleyan College, beginning his career there early in the college's history with theatrical performances in the cafeteria and realizing a dream many years later when he helped design the Hofheimer Theater. In his speech classes, he inspired many students who began their public speaking careers under his watchful eye.

Widely involved for over 35 years in both professional and community theater, locally and beyond, Bentley was an award-winning actor, director and set designer. He collaborated extensively with schools across Tidewater, enriching countless children's lives with theater experiences, and for 20 years he lovingly adjudicated and presented the children's Maritime Poetry Awards from its beginnings at the Old Coast Guard Station. He brought his deep love for the written and spoken word to his teaching and to countless performances, large and small, both as an actor and director; and his creativity and ingenuity in set design and construction delighted actors and audiences alike. Bentley consulted widely and was a great technical resource; he was known for his willingness to lend a helping hand to individuals and organizations in times of need. A charter member of the Swedish Club of Norfolk and Virginia Beach, he treasured the monthly club gatherings.

Bentley leaves behind his adoring wife Shirley Hurd Anderson, daughter Rosalind and her son Evan, brother Nils and his wife Martha, stepdaughter Elizabeth and her daughter Olivia and husband Kenny and numerous nieces and nephews.

The family wishes to thank the nurses and staff at the Memory Center and Seaside at Atlantic Shores as well as Medi Home Health and Hospice for all their loving care and support. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Alzheimer's Association.

A memorial service will be held in the Hofheimer Theater at Virginia Wesleyan College, Norfolk, VA at 5pm on Saturday, April 2; reception following.



April 01, 2011
Dear Shirley, Rosalind, Evan, family
and friends,

My husband, John, and I send you our heartfelt condolences upon the loss of Bentley. We regret not being able to attend his memorial service as we will be in upstate New York for my sister's 70th birthday. I have fond memories of Bentley from my two years of teaching at Virginia Wesleyan College in the late 70s. And I share his passion for the stage, although as a spectator primarily.

May all you who loved him take comfort in your memories of his engaging presence, of his enriching contributions to the life of the theatre and of his community, and of the friendship he extended to so many. His was a life well lived, and we shall miss him very much.

May he rest in peace.

~ Constance B. Williams, Virginia Beach, Virginia

April 01, 2011

"And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest."
Rick and Bobbie

~ Unsigned

April 01, 2011

Eternity is when everything happens.

April 01, 2011

Shirley, my heart is heavy and saddened for your loss. You were so blessed to have such a wonderful, adoring husband who shared your love of theater. If there is anything I can do, please don't hesitate to call on me. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

April 01, 2011

  Dear Shirley... My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family now... I will always remember Bentley's kindness and encouragement and professionalism. It was a joy acting with him in "Bus Stop," what a generous and gracious actor... And it was an honor to be cast by him in "A Midsummer Night's Dream"... When I think of Bentley, I think of his brightness and goodness, and mostly his kindness. Truly, he was a great human being, Southern gentleman, scholar, and artist. And although this world is a little less bright without him in it, he is adding his own special light to Heaven right now... It's not the end... Because of Jesus, it's just a pause, or an intermission... You'll see Bentley again someday... And the joy you knew with him here will continue into another act... Because he loved Shakespeare, I'm closing with these words from "Hamlet"... May "flights of angels sing thee to thy rest"... Love and comfort to you in Christ, Shirley...

April 01, 2011

The loss of such a wonderful soul, only pales in having known him.
Shirley my prayers and thoughts are with you.

April 01, 2011

Shirley, I am so saddened to hear of your loss. So many fond memories of the old days. My thoughts are with your and your family.

April 01, 2011

  Shirley, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your extended family in this time of sadness. I will always remember "Bent's" smile and the great love that you have for each other. He gave to me many valuable words of advice though the years and I am grateful. Love & Light, Martine

April 01, 2011

It's been a lot of years (more than I'll admit) since I last spoke with Bentley, but we collaborated a lot back in the early days of Theatre @ VWC. I had a company in Richmond then called Backstage, Inc., and I installed stage equipment and sold supplies to the school. He was a fine man to work with - gentle and inspired, and I always enjoyed his company. I am sure there will be many expressing their fond remembrances here. Let mine join the good company. He will be missed by all.

April 01, 2011

One day the summer after my Freshman year at VWC, Bentley called my home to talk to my mother, offering kudos and asking me if I'd serve as a Peer Advisor to his Freshmen. I did so every year. Bentley always welcomed me, in class or out, and I loved the day I finally told him that I became an actor. He's the most positive person in the business I have ever known, and I owe him so much for that. Shame I missed the chance to be directed by him.

April 01, 2011

Dearest Shirley,
I don't have to tell you what both you and Bentley have meant to me. It is because of Bentley that I will soon be a college theatre professor. I want nothing more than to follow in his footsteps and make him proud. I will be in London for the next week, and somehow find it fitting that I will be somewhere that he was instrumental in sending me the very first time. This trip is for him, and because of him. I love you both with all my heart, and will forever miss my dearest teacher, mentor and friend. God Bless.

~ Unsigned

April 01, 2011

Back in the late 1970's in the Norfolk Theatre scene....when we were all young; many good times were shared by friends...It is with sadness that one so kind and eloquent is now gone. Bentley was so amusing and brilliant. May God rest your soul Bentley.

~ Carol Garrison Davis

April 02, 2011

So very sorry for the loss of Bentley. I am a former student of his and so in my mind he remains what I recall some 35 years ago. He was a good man.

Pam McClure....1978

April 02, 2011

Dear Shirley, Let's treasure the many beautiful memories: Shakespeare & Champagne, VB Little Theater, VWC performances--so many, so rich. Bentley touched a lot of lives in a wonderful way. --Gary & Sue

~ Gary Ball, Chesapeake, Virginia

April 02, 2011

From the halls of Newport News High School and the days Mr. Anderson was our drama teacher many of the Typhoons feel a sense of loss. He was far more than a teacher, he mentored and encouraged everyone he came in contact with. Always a gentlemen filled with vast amounts of knowledge that he shared with everyone. He touched so many lives during his earth walk. We will miss his gentle soul. On behalf of many of his NNHS students we send our condolences.
Ginny Hollomon Hawks NNHS Class of '69

April 02, 2011

Dear Shirley,
I am heartbroken for your loss and for the future students who will not benefit from Bentley's guidance and encouragement. Rest assured, his legacy will live on in all of his students, no matter what profession they may be pursuing, as he taught lessons that were ultimately universal, and in that way, he can never be forgotten. I wish I could be there in person to tell you myself, but my thoughts and prayers are with you. Please know that we are all mourning his passing and stand with you in our hearts. Bentley was one of a kind.

April 02, 2011

Dearest Shirley and Rosalind, you are in my thoughts and prayers. I remain so grateful for all that I learned from the Professor and all that he did to help me on my path.

April 02, 2011

My NNHS Classmate and friend Ginny Hawks said it all in her note. I wasn't in drama class, but because of his extensive involvement with our music department in which I was very much a part, we had a chance to work with him on various productions. I'll never forget when he tackled the planning and production of two huge
"singing" Christmas trees that my dear uncle built for us!!
In memory of a wonderful man...

Sherry Hensel Huycke NNHS '69,
Hampton, Virginia

April 02, 2011

Bentley Anderson was not just our teacher at Newport News High School...he was our mentor and our friend. In the over 40 years that have passed, hardly a week goes by that I don't think about something I learned from him. My sincere condolences to his family. Bentley Anderson was truly an inspiration to everyone who had the good fortune to be in his unique presence. He made a difference.

April 02, 2011

Words about Mr. A ~ the master of words~
Articulate, artistic, benevolent, creative, courageous, curious, dapper, dedicated, dependable, driven, eloquent, gregarious, hilarious, ingenious, mischievous, opinionated, passionate, scholarly, trustworthy, and, saving the best word for last, warmhearted ~ at the very moment when it was least expected.
Whether we are still actors or not, what he taught remains with us always. We only hope to do his legacy justice.
I love you, Mr. A. Thanks for everything.

April 02, 2011

I will always remember Bentley's "Rose Colored" reading glasses...he said he liked to see the world through them...and he really did! What a gift his life was to all those who had the pleasure of spending time with him. 

April 02, 2011

I remember Bentley Anderson fondly. He was my speech teacher at Virginia Wesleyan, as well as the director of the play, Blythe Spirit. He taught "Children's Theater", as well. I remember it so well. His spirit and energy helped me become the person I am today. My condolences to his family, and to all of his students (like me) whose lives were touched by him. Debby (Reynolds) Briscoe VWC '84

April 02, 2011

Bentley, thank you so much for getting me started in theatre. I still clearly remember my first show (which sparked a long passion for acting and theatre as a whole), "Everyman". If not for you, I would never have set down the path I did. You will be greatly missed.

Shirley and Rosalind, my thoughts and prayers are with you.


April 02, 2011

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Bentley was a wonderful man.

~ Susan Hickman, Virginia Beach

April 02, 2011

Dearest Shirley and family,
"Everyone loves Bentley." How often we heard those fond words. We are saddened by the loss of Bentley who gave so much joy and help to others. And, we know the great love you had for each other. We will be at the service to honor his life. With deepest sympathy, Mary Jean and Ron Kledzik

~ Ronald and Mary Jean Kledzik, Norfolk, Virginia

April 02, 2011

I am remembering our conversation at the Artist's Gallery about Bentley. Now, as then, your descriptions of the love between the two of you were wonderful to hear. Bentley was truly a good person, and you were a great support to him.

~ Erlene Hendrix, Norfolk, Virginia

April 02, 2011

I am glad I had a chance to know and work with Bentley. He was always energetic and had a glimmer of mischievousness that kept you on your toes. He was a good friend, teacher, and actor. I am glad that his last years of pain and horror are finally over. My sympathy goes to Shirley, Rosalind and all the family. Roy White

~ Roy White, Afton, Virginia

April 02, 2011

I grew up with Bentley and remember him fondly. I am so sorry to learn of his passing. My condolences to his family. Harriet (Fulcher) Marshall

~ Harriet (Fulcher) Marshall, Virginia Beach, Virginia

April 02, 2011

Dear Shirley,

Our family was very sorry to hear of Bentley's passing. I know that the news hit our daughter, Amy, very hard. She thought so much of him, and gave him so much credit for her own walk in life.

I know that she was deeply saddened by the fact that she would not be able to attend his memorial service this evening as she is on her way to London with ten of her students. She, finally, came to the conclusion that Bentley would be very happy that she was sharing her love of London and the theatre with her own students, just as the both of you had enriched her life with the love of London.

Our deepest sympathies are with you and the rest of your family during this most difficult time. God bless you all in your time of need and in the coming days.

Debbie and Sonny Insley

~ Debbie Insley, Poquoson, Virginia

April 03, 2011

Dear Shirley,

We were saddened to hear of the death of Bentley. You will be in our thoughts and prayers during this time of sorrow. Bentley left an outstanding legacy in his service to the the College and Community.

We think of you often, please keep in touch.

Bob and Carolyn Akers
~ Bob and Carolyn Akers, Virginia Beach, Virginia  

April 03, 2011
I don't know if you will remember me...Kim Martinette. I wanted you to know how sorry I was to hear your father passed away. It was actually my mom that saw the notice first and recognized the name immediately and let me know.

It's been so long since all of us ran around together in the "old neighborhood." As I recall that has been well over 30 years ago. We moved back off Little Neck Road just past Middle Plantation back in 1978. In thinking back, I seem to remember that we ran into each other at a Jr. High or High School Football game at one point but haven't seen each other since then. I can recall so many memories of that time playing in the neighborhood and hanging out with your grandparents.
I know the past few years haven't been easy for you or your family. I hope you and your son are doing well. I would love to hear from you if you find the time at some point.
~ Kimberly Martinette Ives, Virginia Beach, Virginia

April 03, 2011
We send our deepest sympathies to Bentley's family and note that another Berkley boy has passed from the few remaining. His leadership and guidance served his students, we Berkley boys, and his friends and associates. Bentley will long be fondly remembered by those who knew him. He was my football coach, scout leader, and friend.

April 03, 2011
I worked with Bentley Anderson when he served on a multidisciplinary team of teachers of art, speech, music, and social studies in the Hampton City high schools. I oversaw the work of the group. I found Bentley always to be professional, a good team worker, and a pleasure to know. I send my sympathy to his family.
Betty Swiggett

April 04, 2011
Shirley and family... please know that our hearts and prayers are with you. Bentley has left such a positive, joyful mark on our lives as did he on others... We will always remember him with smiles on our you!

April 05, 2011



April 05, 2011

April 05, 2011


   Our deepest condolences are extended to Mr. Anderson's family, friends, and former students at this difficult time.

   This information is also posted here:



     Y'all take good care of each other!  TYPHOONS FOREVER!  We'll Always Have Buckroe!

                          Love to all, Carol





Carol Buckley Harty

Prelude No. 6

Composed by Frédéric Chopin
(01 Mar 1810 - 17 Oct 1849)

Frederic Chopin's Prelude No. 6 midi courtesy of - 03/14/06

Greg Olsen Painting courtesy of – 02/10/05

Blackwork Flowers Divider Line clip art courtesy of - 08/12/04

Marine Corps Seal clip art courtesy of the late Herbert Hice of MI - one of my Famous Marines who served in the South Pacific during WWII.
Thanks again, Herbie!!

Eagle Scout clip art courtesy of well, I cannot seem to locate that information, but it's been in my files since 06/18/03

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