W. Bentley Edmonds – Virginia Beach
William Bentley Edmonds, 90, died of congestive heart failure and related old age ailments on August 17, 2011. He was the second child of Virginia Raimey Edmonds and W.B. Edmonds. He developed an early interest in the arts. Upon graduating from Norfolk’s Maury High School in 1939 he moved to New York where he attended Columbia University, The National Academy of Dramatic Arts, The Art Students League and the National Academy of Design, where he served as assistant to the sculpture instructor. He had been at various times during his forty plus years in Manhatten and Staten Island an actor, puppeteer, portrait painter, sculptor, sculpture teacher and book illustrator. The strenuous and stressful city life eventually led to congestive heart failure and at the urging of his younger sister Claire Amory he departed New York and returned to Virginia for open heart surgery in 1994. The operation was successful but limited his physical activities thereafter. He then spent his time writing poems leading eventually to four books of verse which are illustrated by him as well as four brief novels.
He is survived by two sisters, Frances June Courain and Claire Amory of Virginia Beach; two nephews, D.F. White, Jr. Dee of Boston and Curtis White of Virginia Beach; two nieces, Karen Reed of Virginia Beach and Kathi White of Seattle.
He will be cremated and there will be no services held.
The family plans on an exhibition of his art at a later date in memory of him and the beauty he brought to this earth.
Cremation Society of Virginia is assisting the family. Online condolences may be expressed at www.cremate.org.