I read in the MDJ that Mr. Fred Bentley had passed (in October). This news made me very sad, but was not unexpected, as I had heard Fred was in poor health recently. My condolences to the Bentley family.
I met Fred Bentley int he late ’70s when he was city attorney for Kennesaw. I was elected to the city council as a novice with no experience in government. I also was nothing but a blue collar sheet metal worker with a high school education plus a four-year apprenticeship certificate. To put it plainly, I was green as a gourd. But as luck would have it, Mr. Fred took me under his wing and guided me down the right path over my years on City Council. I will forever be grateful to Mr. Fred. Mr. Fred not only helped and guided me, but I saw him help and guide many people over the years. Mr. Fred was the most generous man I have ever met. I’ve seen him reach into his pocket many times to help the folks. I also know several instances where Mr. Fred performed some legal work for folks, “free gratis.” All of these folks were blue collar people who could use a financial break.
Let me set the record straight. Mr. Fred wrote “the Kennesaw Gun Law.” It was the mayor and Council’s idea, but Mr. Fred crafted the law that would stand up to any court action, and he did. No one has challenged the law in court. That’s a good law. Mr. Fred is my one and only “super lawyer.”
I am proud to call Fred Bentley a friend and one of the last great Southern gentlemen of my lifetime. I put him in the same class as Ros Barnes, Ernest Barrett, Buddy Darden Bill Hutson, Joe Mack Wilson (and) Red Atherton. I am probably leaving out some and I apologize for that.
I also wish to thank Fred Jr. and Randall Bentley for their support over the years. In closing, rest in peace, old friend, and may God bless you. My life has been better and enriched by knowing this man.
A. Mike Fredenburg