Donald Emory Bently
October 18, 1924 - October 1, 2012

Donald Emory Bently

Donald Emory Bently
Oct 18, 1924 - Oct 1, 2012

Donald Emory Bently

Donald Emory Bently
CARSON VALLEY, Nevada -- Donald Emory Bently, Registered Professional Engineer, Industry Pioneer, Philanthropist, and Businessman, died peacefully on Monday, October 1, 2012, at his home in Carson Valley, Nevada. He was 87.

Memorial Service will be held at 10 a.m. on Thursday, October 18, 2012, at St. Gall's Catholic Church, 1343 Centerville Lane, Gardnerville, Nevada 89410. Graveside Service will be held at a later date in Iowa.

Don was born in Muscatine, Iowa, on October 18, 1924. During high school, he spent many hours working at this father's bowling alley, repairing pins and doing other odd jobs. He graduated from Muscatine High School in 1943, and was drafted, serving in World War II as a Seabee, making four major amphibious landings during World War II. He attended the University of Iowa to receive a BSEE in 1949, followed by an MSEE in 1950.

Don possessed a titanic intellect and an astute business mind. His small business, Bently Scientific Company, began operating out of his garage in Berkeley, California, in 1956, and from these humble beginnings he would create a new global industry as well as an entirely new field of engineering. Don moved his fledgling company to Minden, Nevada, in October 1961, and re-named it Bently Nevada Corporation. Don's unique ability to bridge the gap between laboratory success and commercial success resulted in substantial growth of the business. By the time he sold Bently Nevada to GE Energy in 2002, the company had 2000 employees worldwide and operated from more than 100 offices in 42 countries.

Don founded many other successful Nevada businesses, including Bently Pressurized Bearing Company, Bently Tribology Services, Bently Agrowdynamics, Bently Biofuels, Gibson Tool & Supply, and RoMaDyn, a mechanical engineering services and diagnostics company.

In each of these endeavors, Don stressed a core business value that he dubbed the "enlightened use of resources." This ethical standard entails the efficient use of renewable resources, avoiding the waste of natural resources, and the conservative use of corporate resources to provide the best overall win for customers, company, employees, and the environment. In Don's own words, "It has been said that if you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything. That is how it is with principles. Early in my career I decided that I would be absolutely true to my principles. In the end, I have never regretted adhering as closely as I know how to a set of timeless principles." These maxims remain true for all of Don's companies, and are an invaluable part of his long-lasting legacy.

Don was a well-known philanthropist, working to preserve the natural beauty of Nevada's Carson Valley region via his love of agriculture and ranching. To the end of his days Don was a forward-thinking individual who tirelessly labored to innovate green technologies and to conserve the natural beauty of Nevada's Carson Valley. Further, in addition to countless local programs, Don gave to multiple schools, and contributed generously to the U. S. Navy Seabee Museum at Port Hueneme, Calif.

Throughout the years, Don continued to support many organizations in Muscatine, Iowa. These included Friends of Pine Creek Grist Mill, Muscatine Junior College and their Alumni Association, Muscatine Community College, Lucille A Carver Mississippi River Environmental Research Station Fund, and the University of Iowa.

Don is survived by his son, Christopher P. Bently; a sister and brother-in-law, Barbara Ann and Charles Freyermuth of Iowa City, Iowa, and their children, Tod and Laurie Owens in Seattle, Washington; Monica and Donald Temple of Crawfordville, Iowa; JoAnn and Brent Davis of Cedarville, Ohio; and Michelle and Robert Vossen of Whitehouse, Ohio; numerous grandnieces/nephews and three great grandnieces and nephews. Additionally, a niece, Candy and husband, Gene Hawkins, of Marengo, Iowa; nephews, Bart and Karin Evans, of Oxford, Iowa; Blaine and Chad Evans of Parnell, Iowa; Doug and Mary Evans, of Iowa City, Iowa, and Tracy and Lorie Evans, of Parnell, Iowa. In addition, Don is survived by his nephew, Tod A. Bently and wife, Patti Bently; great-nephews, Tod E. and Eli Bently of Gardnerville, Nevada; niece, Meg and Rick Andrews of Reno, Nevada; niece, Tammie Bently; and grandnephew, Sean Hagstrom of Portland, Oregon; cousins include Joyce Pope, Joan Reed, Bill Bannerman, Louise Joy Conway and Patsy Richy, in Ohio; Rose Ellen Sage in Maryland; Larry Eaton in Florida; and Jim Eaton in North Carolina.

 
 

Jim Corley on Apr 13, 2014

Don's instrumentation helped me solve my first big problem in Aramco. We enjoyed hi8s many visits and talks to us isn the desert. One of my favorite memories is don talking to a room of junior engineers about clock wise rotation of a shaft. One of the guys in the audience raised his hand with a question. "Mr. Bentley are we talking about shafts or clocks?" It was an honor to call Don my friend.
Sorry I did not learn of his death until now.

Xiuzhu Huang on Oct 10, 2012

Have known him for more than decades, I shared great experience of cooperating and working with him in China. He contributed his whole life to the development of science/Technologies and achieved great success on business. He was a great person to know, a good friend to share thoughts and a success business man to work with.

Xi¡¯an Thermal Power Research Institute, P.R.China

Xiuzhu Huang on Oct 10, 2012

Have known him for more than decades, I shared great experience of cooperating and working with him in China. He contributed his whole life to the development of science/Technologies and achieved great success on business. He was a great person to know, a good friend to share thoughts and a success business man to work with.

Xi¡¯an Thermal Power Research Institute, P.R.China
Xiuzhu Huang

Steve Schultheis on Oct 8, 2012

I worked for Don almost 10 years, but enjoyed having lunch with him later when I became a customer. Don always made time for me when I visited Minden. Don was a legend in our industry, and I am honored to have worked for him and to have known him personally.

Jayne Angell on Oct 8, 2012

My most sincere condolences to Don's family, I worked for Don and he was a good friend and a good person to work for.

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Oct
18
Thursday
St. Gall's Catholic Church
1343 Centerville Lane
Gardnerville, Nevada 89410
10:00 AM

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