Mary Plunkett Death, Obituary – Mary Plunkett of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, has sadly passed away suddenly and unexpectedly leaving loved ones in pain and agony. She attended St. Joseph’s College for Women and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1948. Mary’s family had encouraged her to travel the world, so a few months later she got a work as a hostess with Pan American in their South American section in Miami, Florida.
Her job took her all across South America. While she was in Miami, she struck up a conversation with Captain Bertil Valdemar Bentzlin of St. Paul, Minnesota. They tied the knot six months later, on November 27, 1948, at the Church of the Little Flower in Coral Gables, Florida. They made a permanent move to Convent Station, New Jersey, after Bertil sought Eastern Airlines for a transfer as a Pilot / Flight Engineer at JFK Airport. Bertil wanted to work at JFK Airport.
Mary and Bertil brought up their six children in Morristown throughout the course of their devoted 51-year marriage. Their names are Carol, Anne, Amy, Brian, Kate, and Kerry. Over the course of her more than 72 years spent in Morristown, Mary was an engaged participant in a variety of civic and professional activities. She was an esteemed educator in the Morris School District for more than 30 years, and she was the person in charge of developing the district’s gifted and talented program at the elementary school level during that time.
She took a leave of absence from her teaching position to pursue her master’s degree in history at Seton Hall University, where she graduated with honors. She was a teacher in the honors English class at Frelinghuysen Middle School, where she focused on expository writing and etymology. She has been the director of a lot of plays and musicals that have been produced in elementary and middle schools, and they have been very memorable. She was honored with multiple commendations from the Morris School District, and she served as the chairperson of multiple committees.
Her imaginative, bright, and exceptional teaching style, as well as her musical productions that were influenced by Broadway, served as an inspiration to a great number of her students. These pupils continue to have a very high opinion of her and consider her to be the most exceptional educator they have ever had. After Mary’s retirement from the classroom in 1989, she continued to work as a teacher at The Church of Christ the King in New Vernon, New Jersey, for more than 20 years.
She showed real concern for each and every one of the hundreds of young people she mentored and taught in public speaking. She was also responsible for the coordination and production of the annual Christmas Pageant for a number of years. She was a member of the choir, parish bible study group, book of the month club, the previous Advisory Council, and the Regina Mundi Guild in addition to acting as a lector at The Church of Christ the King.
She received the Vivere Christus Award in 2014 in recognition of all of her services. She was a former president and former chair of government relations for the Morris County Retired Educators Association. She was also a member of the NJ Education Association and the National Education Association. She belonged to The Women’s Club of Morristown, where she served as chairman of the international affairs committee and a member of the MHS Scholarship Committee.
She served as the Harding Township Senior Citizens’ program chair and was a docent for the Mansion in May for The Women’s Association of Morristown Medical Center. She participated in the planning committee for the 50th anniversary celebration of the Morristown Historical Park and worked as a docent for Morris Township for its 250th anniversary celebration. She served as the head of the Maple Avenue location of the former Morristown Children’s Museum.
Four of the Bentzlin children competed in the pool while Mary and Bertil were lifelong members of the Morris Township Ginty Pool, where Mary volunteered as a lane timer at countless meets for the Morris Township Swim Team. She and Bertil were taking their kids to the horse farm to ride when they weren’t at the pool.