Commander David M. Bentz USN (Ret), 62, passed away on December 16, 2019 surrounded by his family at home. He was born in Clinton NC and grew up in Mt. Vernon VA. He is predeceased by his mother, Angela Runge and stepfather, Dean Runge. He is survived by his wife Laura Donner Bentz (a former Navy Nurse) and two adult children, David Jr and Jessica Ashley of Virginia Beach, his brother Jim and his family in Lexington Park MD, and his father Phillip.
He was a 1980 graduate of Virginia Tech and received a BA in Environmental Urban Systems. After graduation he attended Aviation Officer Candidate School and Flight School in Pensacola FL. He was commissioned in October 1980 and received his “Wings” in November 1981. After training in the F-14A he was assigned to the VF-41 Black Aces and completed two extended deployments in support of multinational peace keeping forces Beirut Lebanon and Freedom of Navigation in the Gulf Of Sidra Libya. In addition to instructor duty in VF-101, CDR Bentz had shore tours at the Pentagon and received his Master’s Degree at the Naval War College Newport RI. His last two operational flying tours were with the VF-154 Black Knights and as the CVW-5 Operations Officer, both home ported at NAF Atsugi Japan. During this tour he deployed to the Western Pacific and the Persian Gulf 4 times. During his 23-year career he accumulated over 2,500 flight hours and 499 carrier arrested landings in the F-14A/B. His personal awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Strike Flight Air Medal, 5 Navy Commendation Medals and variety of other campaign and service medal
By far he is proudest of his loving relationship of 35 years with his wife Laura and his children David Jr. a graduate of Longwood University and his daughter Jessica, a graduate of Radford University.
A service and inurnment with full honors will be held at a later date at Arlington National Cemetery.