Marion J. Bentley, who took theater to new heights at Dixie College, dies at age 90

Undated photo of former Dixie College drama professor Marion J. Bentley, who died June 8, 2019 at age 90. | Photo courtesy of Nelson Funeral Home, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Funeral services were held Saturday in Provo for longtime Dixie College English and drama professor Marion J. Bentley, 90, who died in his sleep June 8.

Bentley’s graveside service and burial will take place Monday at 11:30 a.m. at the St. George City Cemetery, 650 E. Tabernacle Street.

A native of St. George, Bentley earned an associate in science degree at Dixie College, after which he completed his bachelor’s degree at the University of Utah, a master’s degree at Stanford University, and his Ph.D. in theater at the University of Utah. Bentley completed additional studies at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts and the Webber-Douglas School, all located in London, England.

At Dixie College, Bentley spent 13 years as a professor and department chair in English, speech and drama and as chair of the Division of Fine Arts.

“Marion was responsible for taking theatre to new heights at Dixie College, especially musical theater,” states his brief biography on Dixie State University’s website.

Bentley was known for his ability to take “average students and turning them into incredible performers,” the biography adds. “His students have performed all over the world, designed sets for major Broadway productions and performed as members of the Metropolitan Opera. While on sabbatical in London, he directed Promised Valley, and then brought two members of that cast back to Dixie College to continue their studies.”

Survivors include his wife Deanna and five of their six sons, along with their families. Another son, Shawn, preceded his father in death.

To see Bentley’s full obituary or to leave condolences, click here. Arrangements are by Nelson Funeral Home.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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