The Bentley Company
8600 West Bradley Road
Milwaukee, WI 53224
Contact: Christine A. Plewa, Marketing Director
Email: [email protected]
For Immediate Release
Monday, December 13, 2004
Thomas H. Bentley Jr., noted general contractor and 4th generation owner of
The Bentley Company, died Saturday December 11, 2004 in Mequon Wisconsin.
Tom Jr. was the 4th generation of the 6 generation and 156 year old general
contracting business founded in 1848 by John Bentley. The Bentley Company
was accorded national recognition recently as the oldest family-owned and
managed general contracting firm in the United States with six generation
The 81 year old father of Thomas H. Bentley III, current CEO and 5th
generation owner of The Bentley Company, was still active in the company
until recent years.
Thomas H. Bentley Jr. began his career in the family company in 1942. His
first project was the Badger Army Ammunition Plant near Baraboo, Wisconsin.
The challenge of this project: 96 buildings in 100 days. In 1942, Tom Jr.
and his father, Thomas H. Bentley, entered the export packaging business and
in the 1980s that business entity became known as Bentley World-Packaging
and is currently the largest in the Midwest, housed in 627,000sf of facility
in 6 plants in Wisconsin and Georgia.
Notable buildings in Wisconsin that Thomas H. Bentley Jr. oversaw as Owner
of the company: multiple buildings at St. John’s Military Academy in
Delafield, Glendale’s Nicolet High School, South Shore Wastewater Treatment
Plant, WITI-TV tower (in 1962 it was the tallest self-supporting tower in
the world), and many other significant landmark buildings and projects.
In 1969 Tom Jr.’s son, Thomas H. Bentley III, joined the firm and in 1983,
his son succeeded him as President of the company and Tom Jr. became
Chairman of the Board.
Memberships and Past Achievements:
o Member of the Industrial Packaging Engineers Association of
American in the Mid-1940s.
o Tom Jr. was also a member of the Wisconsin Club since 1944. He was
very active as a member and served on several boards. He was President of
the Wisconsin Club from 1963 to 1964.
o Board Member of the Milwaukee County Historical Society and
was the General Chairman of the Milwaukee County Historical Society for the
“76 Fund” which raised money in preparation for the celebration of the
Bicentennial of the American Revolution. His contributions reflect his deep
appreciation of our community’s rich heritage.
o Enjoyed memberships at the Bluemound Golf and Country Club,
West Bend Country Club, and Ozaukee Country Club. Tom Jr. was a long-time
member of the Town Club in Fox Point.
o In 1984, Tom Bentley Jr. received the Associated General
Contractor’s (AGC) prestigious Pioneer Award for “long and dedicated service
as a respected general contractor”.
o In 1986 the AGC awarded Tom Jr. with the S.I.R. Award. The
award recognizes those who increase the professional performance and
business standards of the construction industry.
o In 1998, he was recognized by Governor Tommy Thompson in the
State of the State Address for The Bentley Company’s 150th anniversary and
Visitation will be on Wednesday December 15, 2004 from 4:00pm – 7:00pm at
Feerick Funeral Home at 2025 East Capitol Drive, Shorewood WI 53211. In
lieu of flowers, donations to the Salvation Army, 11315 West Watertown Plank
Road, P.O. Box 26019, Wauwatosa WI 53226 or the charity of your choice