Josh’s passing is a dignified, inspiring story of the gift of generosity and love even after death.
It was clear even when he was young that Josh Bent was going to be an architect. As a small boy growing up in Monroe, CT, he was a regular on job sites with his father’s general contracting company. He would pick up cut-offs, sweep sawdust, and learn first hand how houses were built. By the third grade, he was drawing floor plans and blueprints so skillfully that both his parents and teachers knew what his career path would be.
A decade later, when it came time to choose a college, Josh thought Wentworth and the city of Boston were an ideal match. He connected with Wentworth on so many levels and this transferred into high academic achievement as well as successful co-op experiences at Burt Hill, Kosar Rittelman, and The Architectural Team in Chelsea, Massachusetts.
Once Josh graduated, he secured a position with The Architectural Team and immediately became a rising star, consistently receiving praise from both his colleagues and clients.
“His drive and abilities as a young colleague, and more importantly, his character as a man, were a clear reflection of those values instilled in him throughout the early part of his life,” wrote Michael Binette, a partner at The Architectural Team, in a letter to the Bent family.
When Josh died on May 29, 2007, his family decided to establish the Joshua D. Bent Scholarship Fund to provide students with the same drive for success and opportunity to fulfill their academic and professional dreams. Beyond a legacy and commitment to architecture, Josh also made the decision to be an organ donor. His heart, liver, pancreas, kidneys, lungs, corneas, and skin were prepared by The New England Organ Bank and Massachusetts General Hospital.
Josh’s gift has yielded some amazing stories. Frank and Johanne have met the heart recipient, Michael Slama, and his wife, Nancy, and they have become good friends, spending weekends together in Monroe and at Cape Cod. Additionally, Michael and Nancy have met Atticus Joshua, Frank and Johanne’s grandson, and have become something akin to surrogate grandparents. Josh’s corneas have found their way to international destinations including England and British Columbia. Josh’s pancreas saved the life of a man with Type 1 diabetes.
Since the first tournament in June of 2009, a number of special things have happened. As a result of the generous donations of many people, the tournament has raised over $375,000 and provided scholarship seed money for a number of young men and women to pursue a career in architecture at Wentworth. In 2011, the first Masuk student has received a scholarship to attend Wentworth. On a personal note, our grandson, Atticus, has begun to embody both the characteristics and spirit of Josh. Atticus is easygoing like Josh. Atticus is good-natured and loves to smile like Josh. We can only hope that Atticus grows up to be as compassionate and caring as Josh.
In the coming years, we look forward to growing Josh’s tournament and helping other young people realize their dreams of becoming architects. We have been both blessed and sustained by the many people who have helped us during the past few years. Without the hard work of so many dedicated friends, we could not have accomplished any of this.
Thank you, as always, and God Bless.
— Frank and Johanne