Former Reeltown Volunteer Fire Department chief laid to rest - FOX Carolina 21

Former Reeltown Volunteer Fire Department chief laid to rest

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REELTOWN, AL (WSFA) -

The community of Reeltown gathered on Saturday to mourn the loss of one of its most dedicated public servants.

Firefighters from across east Alabama gathered to mourn the loss of Robert Gary Bentley.

Bentley died on Tuesday after a life committed to public service. He spent more than 40 years as a volunteer firefighter as well as serving with the Alabama Army National Guard.

"I think he had 40 plus years in the fire service. None of those paid. All of it was voluntary," said Barry Nelson with the Reeltown Volunteer Fire Department. "I haven't received a check since I've been here and I'm sure that Gary didn't. All of this was for the community and for the love of the community."

"He made a deep impact, a tremendous impact on the community. The Reeltown community and Woodland community," said Maurice McCarthy, also with the Reeltown Volunteer Fire Department. "Words just can't express how much he'll be missed."

As Assistant Chief, Bentley also served as a leader in the firehouse.

"When he needed to take command, he'd take command, and when he didn't, he stood back," said volunteer firefighter Joe Gobler. "I mean, he gave everybody that opportunity. He wasn't just one to take over. If he'd seen things was going good, he would go do another job. He wasn't that he was too good to do something. I mean, he would do from the worst job in the fire department to the best job. I mean, it didn't matter what it was, he would do it."

Bentley's family says contributions in his honor can be made to the Reeltown Volunteer Fire Department.

Copyright 2014 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.

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