“Sweet Leilani,” born July 31, 1926 to Simmy and Helen McNicoll in Honolulu, Hawaii, learned at a young age from many moves, beautiful social grace and a killer competitive edge.
As a young girl she spent summers in Parowan and fell in love: with the town and then, Garry H. Bentley. They married in Parowan on Dec. 13, 1946, and they had four children, 10 grandchildren and 24 great-grandchildren.
She welcomed in as her own daughters-in-law Anne (Chuck) and Cindy (Clint), and sons-in-law Larry (Kristen) and Jim (Gail), nephews, nieces, brothers and sisters-in-law, also former daughter-in-law Patty Bentley.
Additional to being a great mom and grandma, she dedicated time and talent to public service: Historical Preservation, Brian Head Zoning, Heritage Foundation, and Main Street Board were some of her civic commitments.
Many Parowan High School students during her 20 years of teaching can recite with detail the lessons learned from her in Spanish, English, P.E., History, Humanities, A.P., Model U.N., Sterling Scholar, and the beloved Rammettes.
Most likely, they were lessons of discipline, hard work, integrity, and excellence. With deep reverence she taught of the Founding Fathers and The Constitution.
Following retirement, she continued as an educator, serving on the Iron County School Board for two terms.
Leilani had a quiet, enduring faith. She served with church callings of Gospel Doctrine teacher, Young Women and Primary presidencies, and most recently Ward Historian. Often there was a great pot of soup, bread, and a cake prepared for an ailing neighbor or a church activity.
She loved to beautify her surroundings: home and yard decorated beautifully for each season as a most gracious hostess and an open-door policy for all.
All this was satisfying, but nothing, ever, took precedence over family. Each child and grandchild reflects richly on the family experiences created by her: Lake Powell, sports, grandma’s baseball league, peach torte, weddings, and parties, etc; resulting in a tight-knit family unit bound by traditions, respect, and love.
We are happy that Mom and Dad are together, for she missed him. She was preceded in death by her husband, Garry H. Bentley, her dear sister, Maylo M. Wilson, and former son-in-law James B. Burns.
Services were Thursday, Dec. 3 at the Parowan 3rd Ward in Parowan, Utah. Visitations were Wednesday, Dec. 2 and Thursday, Dec. 3. Interment was in the Parowan City Cemetery.
Online condolences can be sent at www.southernutahmortuary.com.
She was an active member of the LDS Church where she served in many callings.
She is survived by her husband; children, Sue Ann (Bret) Bergstrom, Donna Rae (Terry) Sanders, all of Cedar City, Howard (Ruth) of Nephi, and Gordon (Jennifer) of Lindon; brother, Tom (Rosalie) Kirtley; sister-in-law Linda Kirtley of Mina, Nev.; three brothers-in-law, David (Ione), Max (Susan), and Douglas, all of Cedar City; sisters-in-law, Patricia Close of Las Vegas, Nev., Maxine Bonzo of Parowan; and numerous nieces and nephews.
In addition, she is survived by the following grandchildren and great-grandchildren: Waylon, Kadie, Stenson, Keller, Audria, Ellis, Kelsey, Anthony, Terrah, Megan, Kenneth, Sarah, Eliza, Spencer, Nathan, Colin, Emrie, Logan, McKye, Madsen, Jaynie, Kyson, Andy, and two on the way.
She was preceded in death by her parents and brother, Carl.
Services were Saturday, Nov. 28 at the Cedar City LDS Stake Center, 155 E. 400 South, Cedar City. Visitations were Friday, Nov. 27 at Southern Utah Mortuary and Saturday before services, at the stake center. Interment was at the Cedar City Cemetery. Arrangements were entrusted to the care of Metcalf Mortuary. Please visit our website at www.metcalfmortuary.com for condolences and complete obituary and funeral listings.
Special thanks are expressed for Marie and the staff at the Iron County Home Health, especially for the angelic helpers and friends, Debbie and Sherlene.