|Services held June 16 for Laura Bentley, former Chamber director|
|Thursday, June 14, 2012|
LEBANON -- A champion for local business and industrial recruitment, Laura Vaughn Bentley died at home Wednesday, June 13, 2012 following an extended illness.
Mrs. Bentley, 78, was the 13th Executive Director of the Lebanon/Wilson County Chamber of Commerce (1970-1883) and served the community on various boards and committees for most of her working life.
A graduate of Lebanon High School, she was instrumental in the effort to bring Toshiba America to Lebanon.
Sue Vanatta, current president and chief executive officer of the Lebanon/Wilson County Chamber of Commerce, said she met Mrs. Bentley when she first joined the Chamber a number of years ago.
Mrs. Bentley asked her to serve on the Membership Committee, which she did and later served as chairperson of the panel as well.
“That’s how I really got involved in the Chamber,” Vanatta said. “It opened a lot of doors for me.”
Vanatta said she learned about the importance of membership and about recruiting new members from her experience.
“She opened a lot of doors for me. I’ll never forget her. She was a great lady, and did a lot for Lebanon at a time when (Lebanon) needed it. My condolences to Bill and all the family.”
Mrs. Bentley served on the Industrial Development Board of Wilson County, the Wilson County Citizens Advisory Group on Economic Development, Joint Economic and Community Development Board of Wilson County, the Wilson County Intergovernmental Advisory and Planning Committee, the Greater Nashville Tourism Committee, the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce Executive Committee, the Middle Tennessee Chamber Directors, the Four Lakes Regional Industrial Development Association, the Tennessee Association of Business, the Lebanon High School Task Force, the United Way, the Vision 2000, the Wilson County Fair Board and the Homecoming ’86 Committee.
Mrs. Bentley was an active member and Sunday School teacher in the Baptist church, most recently at West Haven Baptist church.
Services were conducted by Pastor Tom Henry and Dr. Jonathan Richerson.
Survivors include: her husband of 56 years Bill Bentley; mother Sue Vaughn; brother Bobby Vaughn; children Micky Bentley and Marty Bentley; daughter-in-law Rhea Anne Bentley; grandchildren Scott Bentley, Steven Bentley, Jessica Bentley, Emily Bentley and Ryan Bentley. She is preceded in death by father Carson Vaughn.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Parkinson’s Foundation or to West Haven Baptist Church.
Sellars Funeral Home, Lebanon, was in charge of arrangements.
From staff reports, The Wilson Post