“Sub Lady” Mary Bentz Passes

Posted on Sunday 15 March 2015

To our dear friends in the USS Grunion community,

I have the sad duty to inform you that “Sub Lady” Mary Bentz passed away on March 10th at Montgomery County Maryland Hospice’s Casey House in Rockville, MD, after an almost 4-year battle with the complications of pancreatic cancer.

As you know, Mary was instrumental in locating many of the families of the crew of the USS Grunion (SS-216), and collaborated in publishing the book “Fatal Dive: Solving the World War II Mystery of the USS Grunion”, which told the story of the search for and discovery of Grunion. She also co-authored a book called “We Remember Them: A Biographical Supplement to Fatal Dive.” If you aren’t familiar with these books, they are available at Amazon.com.

A viewing for Mary will be held at Robert A. Pumphrey Funeral Home, 300 W. Montgomery Ave., Rockville, MD, on Sunday, March 22, from 3-5 and 7-9 PM if you are near enough to Rockville to attend. To get there, take I 270 north and exit east on MD Route 28 to the 300 address on the right.

At her request, Mary will be cremated after the viewing. At a later date in the spring, we plan to have a memorial service and Mass for her.

In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Bowfin Submarine Museum (bowfin.org/support-us), or to Mary’s choir of 30 years, Washington Master Chorale (washingtonmasterchorale.org/support), or to Montgomery County MD Hospice’s Casey House (montgomeryhospice.org/donate).

When Mary left this earth, we are confident that 70 submarine sailors met her at the Pearly Gates in dress whites with salutes, smiles, and hugs for the legacy that Mary left for them among their relatives and friends.

Love to you all,

Dick Bentz

Gone From My Sight
by Henry Van Dyke
I am standing upon the seashore. A ship, at my side,
spreads her white sails to the moving breeze and starts
for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength.
I stand and watch her until, at length, she hangs like a speck
of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.

Then, someone at my side says, “There, she is gone.”

Gone where?

Gone from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in mast,
hull and spar as she was when she left my side.
And, she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port.
Her diminished size is in me — not in her.

And, just at the moment when someone says, “There, she is gone,”
there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices
ready to take up the glad shout, “Here she comes!”

And that is dying…

4 Comments for '“Sub Lady” Mary Bentz Passes'

    Craig Wilson
    March 17, 2015 | 12:33 pm

    So sorry to hear this…Craig Wilson, formerly of USA Today

    Rebekah Hughes (USS Flier Project)
    March 17, 2015 | 6:48 pm

    I am so sorry to hear of Mary’s passing, she and Dick were such wonderful supporters of the lost submarines community, and I’ve always treasured everything she did for the FLIER and other submarines, searching for family and helping people get the information they needed to honor long-lost family members. I will miss her, but I know Dick is right, she’s been greeted by the GRUNION crew, among others.

    God bless you Dick as you work your way through your loss, and know her memory will be treasured by those of us who were blessed enough to know Mary.


    David G.
    April 8, 2015 | 2:12 am

    Mary’s work was meaningful, honorable, and exceptional. Her work brought to light the meaning, honor, and exceptional sacrifice of the Grunion men. May peace and joy now wash over her. Dick, very sorry for your unimaginable loss.

    Vickie Rodgers
    June 5, 2015 | 12:33 am

    I counted Mary as my friend. I will miss her phone calls but most of all her caring heart.

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