Paul M. Bentley, 74, died on Saturday, May 23, at his home in Oostburg, WI. Until his retirement in 2003, Paul was the Executive Vice-President and General Manager of the Milwaukee office of the Cramer-Krasselt Co. During his 30-year career at C-K, he developed positioning strategies for clients such as Master Lock, Briggs & Stratton, Birds Eye, Reddi-wip, Klarbrunn, and Bombardier. His work was honored with three New York Marketing Association Effectiveness (Effie) Awards for increasing the sales of Allen Edmonds shoes, the Dremel Moto Tool, and Northland Cranberry juices.
Never one to fade into a crowd, Paul loved openly, explored the world passionately, and lived grandly. He had an encyclopedic knowledge of pirate history and enjoyed scuba diving Lake Michigan shipwrecks, especially as a volunteer with the Wisconsin Historical Society Underwater Archaeology team. He was a lifelong collector of idiosyncratic Americana and folk art, which he installed in a lakeside house designed by Chicago architect Margaret McCurry and nicknamed the Crayola House. His last wish was to have one more 100 mph ride in his beloved restored-to-hot-rod-quality 1950 Mercury.
Paul loved his family above all else. He is survived by his wife, Judith; sons Nicholas (Kristen Lavelle), Alexander, Michael (Stephanie), and Nathaniel (Michelle) Bentley; brother Stephen (Jane) Bentley of Chicago; grandsons Mason and Logan Bentley and Ludo Lavelle; and Paul’s Living Kidney Donor Cassie Peterson-Huber (Juan) Rodriguez.
In lieu of a service, the family is compiling a memory book of “Paul” stories. They request that friends who wish to contribute send a favorite anecdote to email@example.com. And should the reader find himself sipping a Manhattan in a five-star restaurant anywhere in the world, please do make it a double and think of Paul.