Services honoring Rita Louise Bentley, resident of Milton, Florida, will be held 10 AM Monday, July 25,
2022 in the Rivercrest Chapel. Interment will follow in the Bixby Cemetery. The family will receive
visitors from 6-8 PM Sunday, also at Rivercrest. Rita passed away Tuesday, July 19, 2022 in Tahlequah.
She was 65 years old.
The fifth of twelve children, Rita was born October 4, 1956 in Tulsa, the daughter of Richard Irvin and
Bobbie Jean Barbour (Matlock). She grew up mostly in Tulsa on Reservoir Hill, attending Lumbard Elementary and Roosevelt High School.
Rita met Ted Bentley at the grand opening of the Quality Inn where she was employed in Okmulgee.
They began dating on September 2, 1986 and spent over 35 wonderful years together. The couple were
married at their Glenpool home on February 26, 1988.
Rita was a wonderful mother to Brandon and Adam. She always referred to Brandon as her “shadow”
while he was growing up. Rita was a loving and caring wife to Ted. An extremely devoted Christian,
she would always tell everyone she knew about the Lord. Her faith could move mountains and even
Baseball with her boys, crafts, and interior decorating were some of Rita’s favorite hobbies and pastimes. Rita also loved traveling, especially to visit her family. She travelled far and wide across the U.S., even rolling up her sleeves to fly, which she was normally averse to do, to visit her son, Adam, serving in the U.S. Navy and stationed in Japan.
She was especially close to her brother, Sam. Rita would refer to Sam as “Droopy” and Sam called Rita, “Rita Pita.” With the exception of her home, Rita didn’t need anything too fancy in life. She loved down-home cooking and could whip up a mean meatloaf and a delectable pineapple upside-down cake. Her nephew, Calon Guerrero, especially loved to drink her tea. Rita will be dearly missed by a host of
family and friends who loved her.
Surviving family include her husband Ted of Milton, Florida; her children, Brandon Williford and his
wife Wen, and Adam Knapp and his wife Raquel of Milton, Florida; her stepchildren, Jennifer Averyt and her husband Jerry Averyt, and Teddy and Jonathan Bentley; 12 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren; 10 siblings; and her best friends, Lorraine Knapp and Wanda Miller and Wanda’s husband Ronnie.
Rita was preceded in death by her parents and her sister, Delores Jean Barbour.