Maxwell M. Bentley, founder of supplier firms Maxwell Bentley Mfg Co., EM Stevens Corp., and Hill Novelties, passed away recently. He was 93.
Bentley founded his first supplier company in 1950, and he was one of the first suppliers to actively market his products to distributors and, at one point, he offered nearly 100 gifts and specialties. Bentley’s son Mitch currently operates industry distributor firm Pride-Mark Promotions, and another son, Richard, operated distributorship Marketing Designs Inc. for 24 years until he retired in 2006.
Bentley was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. Just prior to graduating from the City College of New York, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy in early 1941. He was stationed in New York City, Virginia Beach and several other U.S. bases until being deployed to the South Pacific where he was the communications officer on the LST Flotilla Command Ship. He served until the end of World War II, and he was ultimately awarded the American Campaign Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (with star), and the World War II Victory Medal.
A philanthropic man throughout his life, Bentley was also one of the founders of the Malverne Jewish Center, where he lived for 29 years. He is survived by his wife of 71 years, Enid Bentley; his children, Mitchell and Karen Bentley, Richard Bentley, Patti Bentley; his grand-children Scott and Erin Bentley, Jill and Chris Saint, Steven and Elizabeth Bentley, Kristin and Nick Kray, Lauren and Aaron Aggerwal, and Jennifer and Brendan Lynch; his nine great grand-children; brother-in-law, Jeffrey Lawrence, and Marilyn Stiegler, devoted family friend.