Life Story / Obituary
Sheila Mae Bentz, 82, passed into eternal life at Ascension All Saints Hospital on Monday, November 14, 2022, having been surrounded by her family in her last days.
Sheila, a proud Slovak, was born in Kenosha, Wisconsin on June 8, 1940, to Helen T. (nee: Strabavy) and Stephen M. Kuchera. Growing up, Sheila was involved in track and calisthenics through the Slovak Sokol Kenosha organization, and studied piano for many years, continuing to accompany student instrumental music soloists and play for events long into her adult years. Sheila graduated from Mary D. Bradford High School in 1958 and was then employed by Johnson Wax in Racine. She wed Ronald E. Bentz at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Kenosha on October 21, 1961, and enjoyed over sixty-one years of marriage together in Racine.
Sheila was selfless, humble, poised, and possessed a quiet unwavering strength, always the silent pillar of her family. She worked full-time at Young Radiator Co. for almost thirty years beginning in 1970, was instrumental in Ron’s career successes, and never stopped pouring endless energy into supporting and tending to her two girls. She adored her daughters and doted on her grandchildren. Family meant everything to her, and she truly enjoyed playing an integral role in each of their lives. Sheila simply loved life. She always found something to celebrate about her co-workers at “Young’s”, organizing and setting up countless parties, bringing in jello shots and Harvey Wallbanger cakes. She enjoyed her & Ron’s many travels with brother-in-law Dan & his wife Judy to attractions throughout the United States, as well as those with brother Dick & his wife Marcia, including a grand trip to Europe in the early ‘90s. There was no shortage of casino trips with either group! Sheila was a master at scheming with her grandchildren, covertly schooling them in the fine art of procuring Dad’s hidden junk food and watching tv after school, while making Mom & Dad believe they were doing their homework and saving their appetites for dinner. She treasured Sunday dinners - both as hostess and as guest - with her family, especially when she could gloat over a Chicago Bears win. Perhaps Sheila’s greatest joy in life was conjuring up the magic and wonder of the holidays and other life events big and small, for her daughters and for her grandchildren as they grew up. Sheila genuinely loved being alive, taking care of people, and spending time with her friends and most of all, her beloved family.
Sheila loved her family and leaves behind her loving husband Ron, her daughters Sue (John) Skantz and Julie Mutter; grandchildren Lizzie Skantz, Joe Skantz, and Matthew Schreier; in-laws Cliff (Dorothy) Bentz, Dan (Judy) Bentz, Tom (Marie) Bentz, Kathy Bentz (Roger) Panyk, and Linda (Tom) Hempel; and many nieces and nephews. In addition to her parents Helen and Steve, she was preceded in death by her beloved brothers John “Jack” Kuchera and Richard “Dick” Kuchera; son-in-law Holley Mutter; mother-in-law and father-in-law Leona and Clifford Bentz; and in-laws Marcia Kuchera, Shirley Dallmann-Longmore, Doris Ann Mack, John Bentz, Mary Jane Schwarm, and Peter Bentz.
In keeping with Sheila’s wishes, there will be no formal service or gathering.