Ramona Gaye Lively Bentz, age 74, a loving wife, mother, grandmother, and educator went to sleep in Jesus on January 4, 2021 at home, surrounded by her family. Ramona was a faithful member of the Coalfield Seventh Day Adventist Church and served the church as a board member, community services co-director, food ministries service volunteer, event planner, decorator and in many other roles.
Ramona was born on January 10, 1946, in Oliver Springs, TN. She attended Coalfield School where she would later go on to teach for many years. Ramona attended college at Southern University, where she met the love of her life, Jerry Bentz and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in biology. Ramona and Jerry married on August 18, 1968 and shared fifty years together. They had two children, Staci Denise and Trevor Hayes.
After receiving her teaching certification from the University of Tennessee, Ramona began her teaching career at Coalfield School in 1972 and worked as a Title 1 reading and math teacher for 27 years working with students in Kindergarten through 8th grade. Over the course of her long teaching career at Coalfield, Ramona was a member of the Morgan County Education Association in which she served as representative, vice-president and president. Ramona also served as secretary and treasurer of Delta Kappa Gamma, an international organization for key women educators. While teaching during the days, Ramona also donated her time and resources to several worthy causes and organizations, including the Morgan County Health Council and the Child Advocate Services Council. Ramona went back to college at night and earned her Master’s Degree in Educational Administration from Tennessee Technological University in 1993. She then went on to serve as the K-12th grade vice-principal for two years and then principal of Coalfield School for five years until she retired in 2006. Upon her retirement, Ramona was honored to be recognized by the state of Tennessee in Senate Joint Resolution Number 1078 which commended her for her exceptional service to the children of Coalfield and Morgan County.
Ramona was preceded in death by her husband, Robert Ray (Jerry) Bentz and parents, Robert E. Lively and Armethia Wiggins Lively.
She is survived by her daughter Staci Bentz Moore; her son Trevor Hayes Bentz (wife Mandy); her granddaughters Reagan and Reilly Moore (father, Brian); her grandson, Jack Bentz; her sisters Rhonda Lively Becker (husband John), Lisa Kay Lively, and Lori Lively; her brother Robert (Bobby) Lively and a community of family members and friends who loved and learned from her over the years.
Due to the current conditions surrounding Covid-19, services for Ramona will be restricted to a private graveside service with masks for close family members only.
The family asks in lieu of flowers, that donations be made to the Coalfield SDA Church Food Ministry, PO Box 217, Coalfield, TN 37719 (865) 435-6576.
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