Janet A. Bentley (nee Senft) of Newtown Square, PA passed away peacefully with her husband and son at her side on October 11, 2022 at the age of 87. She was born to Russell and Alice (nee Abel) Senft on June 3, 1935 in Lancaster, PA.
Janet attended Swarthmore College where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science in 1957. While she was at Swarthmore she was a member of the archery team and played the oboe in the football pep band, where she met her husband, Gene. According to Gene, it was love at first sight. After college she earned a Teaching Certificate at Millersville College and went on to teach fourth grade at The Shipley School in Bryn Mawr, PA. After her first child was born, Janet “retired” from teaching to raise her family. Despite a busy home life, she was a member of the Merion Musical Society and found time to play the oboe with the Merion Concert Band, Merion Orchestra, and Marple Newtown Alumni Band. Janet frequently attended Philadelphia Orchestra concerts on Fridays and chaperoned her children's class trips when they attended.
Janet enjoyed family vacations on the Chesapeake Bay. Packing a family of seven plus a dog and a guinea pig for a month in a rather rustic environment was no small feat. But, as an avid reader, she would reward herself by catching up on Agatha Christie mysteries on the beach. She also had a love and appreciation for antiques and would take her children to antique stores along the Chesapeake on rainy days.
Both Janet and Gene grew up with dogs with Janet coming from a “Terrier family” and Gene coming from a “Collie family”. While they were open to taking in any breed, fate lent its hand and delivered Richard, a stray, to them at the Chesapeake Bay. Richard was a wonderful family dog, and this solidified their devotion to Collies (and rescues) leading to the subsequent adoptions of Harry and Chester. Later in life, as having a dog of her own became impractical, Janet welcomed all of her “granddogs” with open arms. She was often found with a Sheltie on her lap when “granddogs” were visiting.
Janet is survived by her beloved husband, Eugene A. Bentley, Jr., and children, Janet Dixon (Philip), Gene Bentley, III (Pam), Karen Runkle (John), Betsey VanOrnum (Scott), and Cathy Hollerbach (Steve). She will be remembered fondly by her grandchildren, Peter Dixon (Mai Ha Vu), Michael Dixon, Lauren Williams (Aaron), Tyler Bentley (Erin McGinnis), Rachel Runkle, Sarah Runkle, Johnny Runkle, Josh Runkle, Serena VanOrnum, Arik Hollerbach, Tori Hollerbach, and Lainey Hollerbach.
Relatives and friends are invited to visit with the family Monday, October 17th from 6-8pm and Tuesday, October 18th from 9:30-10:30am at The Donohue Funeral Home, 3300 West Chester Pike, Newtown Square, PA 19073, followed by a funeral service at 10:30am also at The Donohue Funeral Home. Interment at Philadelphia Memorial Park in Frazer, PA immediately following services.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in Janet’s memory can be made either to Swarthmore College, 500 College Avenue, Swarthmore, PA 19081, Newtown Square Presbyterian Church, 3600 Goshen Road, Newtown Square, PA 19073, or to Brandywine Valley SPCA, 1212 Phoenixville Pike, West Chester, PA 19380.