Obituary: Karen Kay Bentley

October 21, 1940 ~ April 27, 2020

Karen Kay Bentley, 79, of Sturgeon Bay, passed away on Monday April 27th, 2020 at Door County Medical Center after a courageous battle with COVID-19.

She was born in Manitowoc, WI on October 21st, 1940 to Ed and Margaret Kugler. She graduated from Manitowoc Lincoln High School in 1958 and then graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a bachelor’s degree in Social Work. She was joined in marriage to Walter “Terry” Bentley in 1962 in Manitowoc. They enjoyed 58 years working, traveling, and socializing together.

Karen was employed as a Social Worker for Fond du Lac County Social Services, as well as the Fond du Lac School System. After moving to Door County, she served as Executive Director of Door County Housing Authority (HUD).

In her retirement, she was very active at Bay View Lutheran Church, along with numerous other volunteer activities. She also continued her role as Secretary/Treasurer of Bentley Powerboats, Inc.

Karen was an avid reader and knitter. She enjoyed her time in Florida where she could bike, walk, and swim on a daily basis each winter. She cherished her time with family and her only granddaughter, Kendall.

She is survived by her husband, Walt, 2 sons, Mark of Fort Lauderdale, FL and Patrick (Cindy) of the Fox Valley, and her granddaughter, Kendall, as well as her extended Thiry families from across the US. (Linda, Kent, Jill, Craig, Kay and Don)

She was preceded in death by her parents, Marge and Ed Kugler, and her in-laws, Walter E. and Thecla Bentley.

A memorial service to celebrate her life will be held at a date to be determined. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be directed to a fund which has been established in Karen’s memory at Bay View Lutheran Church of Sturgeon Bay.  Forbes Funeral Home & Cremations is in charge of arrangements.  On-line condolences may be offered on her tribute page at

The Bentley Family would like to express their gratitude for all the well wishes, cards, prayers and calls Karen received from so many of her friends. Special thanks as well to the medical staff that treated and kept her comfortable during her final days.