Natalie (Meyer) "Tatty"'s Story
Natalie (Meyer) “Tatty” Bent, 73 years old, died unexpectedly on May 25, 2017. She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, sister and friend extraordinaire.
Tatty, as she was known to her friends and family, was born to August and Natalie Meyer of Belmont where she grew up, spending summers in Essex with her extended family. She attended Buckingham School and Beaver Country Day School in the Boston area and went on to study English literature and History of Art at Wheaton College, graduating in 1966. She married Quincy (Q) Bent that summer, settled in Cambridge and started a family. Charlie, Toby, Tally and dog, Willie, soon followed.
In 1977, the family moved to the Essex family compound where she lived the rest of her life. In her early thirties, Tatty started a nursing program, pursuing a curiosity of all things medical and putting to use a natural talent for helping people. Her nursing career spanned 15 years and included hospital nursing, home health care, and hospice care, all in the Cape Ann area. Never one to limit her horizons, she started working at Boundary Turkey Farm, where her tasks included “all things turkey." She became indispensable at the farm, willing and able to lend a hand in any way.
As the specter of an empty nest loomed, Tatty and Q decided to pursue their love of sailing and set out for a one-year cruise of the Caribbean in Iolanthe, a 37-foot cutter. What started as a one-year voyage turned into an 11-year circumnavigation of the world. They visited over 50 countries, staying as long as a year or more in some. People often asked how they could survive such closeness for so long, to which Tatty would reply, “We were good at ignoring each other.” There was no doubt that the cruising life suited them and they left a string of friends around the world.
Relishing in Tatty and Q’s generosity and hospitality, grandchildren, children, family and friends visited them throughout their trek as much as possible. Tatty and Q flew back frequently to visit family and friends. Despite their far away locale, Tatty and Q flew home to celebrate their children graduating from college, marrying, and having children of their own, starting Tatty — or the “Flying Granny” as she was known — on her long love affair with grandmotherhood.
When they returned to Essex full time, Tatty and Q threw themselves into the community, becoming avid supporters of Maritime Gloucester. Tatty was an integral part of the Veterans’ Memorial School library, volunteering countless hours. She was a passionate reader — she devoured as many as four books a week — and turning kids onto the written word was a great joy.
Never one to embrace organized religion, her greatest pleasure on Sunday mornings was visiting Todd Farm flea market with her beloved Labradoodle, Millie. Tatty was extraordinary in so many ways and beloved by all who knew her — her humor, generosity of spirit, her love of life and unwavering belief in the goodness of all people brought out the best in everyone. Rarely critical, she led and inspired others. She was endlessly curious and loved nothing more than to ask questions and to research whatever piqued her interest. She had large circle of friends from all parts of her life and touched them all. She cast a wide light.
She is survived by her husband, Quincy Bent; her children, Charles Bent and his wife, Jill, Toby Bent and his wife, Kelly, Natalie “Tally” Armbruster and her husband, Aaron; brothers, August Meyer and his wife, Beebe, Peter Meyer and his wife, Cheryl; and sister, Nina Fletcher; and grandchildren, Lucy, Augie, Will, Ellie, Lewie, Gracie and Annie.
Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to Tatty’s Memorial Service on Saturday, June 3, at 11 a.m. at Maritime Gloucester. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Maritime Gloucester, 23 Harbor Loop, Gloucester, MA 01930. For online condolences and register book, please visit www.pikenewhall.com.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Pike-Newhall Funeral Home, 61 Middle St., Gloucester.
Published on  May 31, 2017