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Earl R. "Early P" Bentley

Big Stone Gap, Va.-Earl R. “Early P” Bentley, 76, passed away at Lonesome                         Pine Hospital and went to be with his heavenly Father on Wednesday, January 15,                           2020.

    He was born and raised in Big Stone Gap and also lived in Ormond Beach, Fl.  Early P worked at Purity Baking Co., Elkins Coal Co., Westmoreland Coal Co., was owner/operator of Hodaka Motorcycle Sales, Norfolk-Southern Railroad, owner/operator of Valley Performance Used Cars, and Freedom Ford, Wise, Va., where he was Salesman of the Month, each month for over 20 years, and retiring there in 2019. He loved his family, hunting, fishing, selling vehicles and traveling with his companion, Vanessa Fleming, and his pets, Sparkie, Katie, Berkley, Pixel and Jr.  He was of Pentecostal faith.  Until we meet again, we love you.

    He was preceded in death his wife, Patricia Adams Bentley; son, Earl “Bull” Bentley, Jr.; parents, Rev. Edward Earl and Golda Mae (Wade) Bentley; sisters, Merrywyn Bentley and Doris Marie Hamm; nephew, Randall Keith Hamm and brother-in-law, George Lewis.

    Surviving are his daughter, Maria Stidham (Matt), Big Stone Gap; grandchildren, Brandon Bentley, Cincinnati, Oh. and Luke Stidham, East Stone Gap, Va.; companion, Vanessa Fleming, of the home; sister, Kay Lewis, Big Stone Gap, Va.; several nieces and nephews; and caregiver, Donna Adams.   The pallbearers will be:  Trevor Hamm of Keokee, Va., Lindsey “Sonny” Hamm, Rockwall, Tx., Jason Collins, Big Stone Gap and Freedom Ford, John Hall, Wise, Va. and Freedom Ford, Josh Hillman, Lebanon, Va. and Freedom Ford, Malcomb Freeman, Villa Hills, Ky., Charles Lambert, Nolesville, Tn. and Luke Stidham, East Stone Gap, Va.

    The family would like to send a special thanks to his Freedom Ford family for the good times with Earl.

    The family will receive friends 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Friday, January 17, 2020 at New Hope Assembly of God, 1405 1stAvenue, E., Big Stone Gap.  The funeral service will be conducted 11:00 a.m. Saturday at the church with Dr. Lonnie Brooks, Dr. Roy Smith and Pastor Rick Whitten officiating.  Burial will follow at Powell Valley Memorial Gardens.

        To view the obituary online and offer condolences, visit

    Gilliam Funeral Home and Crematory is honored to serve the Bentley family.

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