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Bentley & Sons Funeral Home Purchases Colonial Bakery to Create a One-Stop Facility

by Amanda Smith

Bentley & Sons Funeral Home has purchased the 107,000 square foot facility that housed the Colonial Bakery in years past. Sitting on seven acres of land across the street from Bentley's on Montpelier Avenue in Macon, Georgia, the building will house a one-stop facility that will serve grieving families with all services related to funeral preparation.

Calvin Bentley, Sr., owner of Bentley & Sons is excited about the purchase. "This will be a location where we can better serve the public," he said. "We will have plenty of space to offer for different events. Often, grieving families have problems finding a location where they can hold a memorial service and serve food after the service without leaving the premises," he continued. "We're going to fill that gap in funeral services."

Born in Reynolds, Georgia, Bentley comes from a family of funeral directors. His grandfather, J.E. Bentley, Sr., owned a funeral home in Reynolds and Bentley grew up helping out with the business as a child. When he grew up, he met and married his lifelong love, Janice Turner Bentley. Bentley graduated from McAllister School of Mortuary Science in 1963 and in 1976, he founded Bentley & Sons Funeral Home at 2636 Montpelier Avenue in Macon. "Macon has always been my dream for a funeral home," said Bentley. "There is a large enough population here for a thriving business." And thrive it did. In 1984, he built a new facility at 2714 Montpelier Avenue and in 1987, Bentley opened a funeral home in Jeffersonville, Georgia. In 1989, he bought his grandfather’s funeral home in Roberta.

Bentley & Sons has continued to grow over the years. With three locations (Macon, Roberta and Jeffersonville), Bentley's offers a total of six chapels --three on Montpelier Avenue in Macon, one in Jeffersonville, one in Roberta, and one at 1039 Shurling Drive in Macon, where Bentley purchased and developed Bentley & Sons Centreplex, a facility designed to serve the public with enough space to hold any type of gathering, from weddings to family reunions.

The purchase of the Colonial Bakery building on Montpelier Avenue will facilitate a coming-together of all funeral services as a convenience to the families that Bentley serves. At the present time, the building houses two chapels, but Bentley will remove the center wall to create a chapel that can hold as many as 700 individuals for memorial services. There will also be a serving area for families to gather and eat together; a display of headstones, burial garments and cremation urns for customers to choose from; and an assortment of funeral programs for selection by the surviving family members. Cherry Blossom Memorial Gardens (Lizella, Georgia) will offer cemetery plots for those in need of a resting place for loved ones.

Bentley & Sons is truly a family business. Calvin and Janice have six grown children, all of which are involved in the funeral business. Darryl, Calvin, Jr. and DeUndray all attended Gupton-Jones College of Mortuary Science in Atlanta, Georgia. Daughter Shonte attended Valdosta State University and then attended Gupton-Jones and Charlie attended Ogeechee College of Mortuary Science in Statesboro. Harold works fulltime with Bentley at the funeral home on Montpelier Avenue.

"This is a new venture for us," said Bentley. "We are waiting for approval from the Macon-Bibb County Planning and Zoning Commission for our plans for use of the new building, but we expect to have that approval around the first of next year," he said. "Following that, we can begin renovating the building and will be offering the new services very soon. I encourage the public to come by the facility once we have it ready to see all that we have to offer."

With decades of experience in the funeral business, Bentley & Sons has dedicated almost 40 years to serving grieving families in the middle Georgia area, offering sensitivity and compassion to countless individuals who are dealing with the loss of a loved one. "If you find yourself in need of our services, please feel free to drop by and allow us to help you," said Bentley. Those in need may visit Bentley & Sons on Montpelier Avenue or call (478) 742-0952.


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ronnie blount photo
Calvin Bentley, Sr.