Minden industrialist Donald E. Bently died on Monday at age 87, Bently Agrowdynamics' Web site announced today.
Born Oct. 18, 1924, the Minden businessman and inventor founded Bently Nevada in 1961 with three people. When he sold the company to General Electric in 2001, it employed more than 2,100 people worldwide, including 1,200 in Carson Valley. Consolidated worldwide sales in 2001 were more than $230 million.
Over the past 11 years Bently continued to innovate, founding Bently Agrowdynamics, which built its first biofuel production plant in Minden in 2005. That same year he worked out a conservation easement with the Nature Conservancy to preserve the Kirman Field in northern Douglas County. Bently was on hand to open his alternative fuel station in 2007.
Mr. Bently served with the U.S. Navy's Seabees in the Pacific during World War II. In 2009 he attended the groundbreaking for the U.S. Navy Seabee Museum, which he helped fund by matching a grant.
Last year, Bently was named one of Douglas County's 150 most influential residents over the last 150 years. He donated the parcel for the Minden campus of Western Nevada College, which bears his name.