Cresa Antoinette Bent

December  9th, 1937 February  11th, 2024
Vacaville, California
Cresa Antoinette Bent


Cresa Antoinette Bent was born on December 9, 1937 in Nashville, Tennessee.  She was the youngest of three daughters of Michael James Bent, M.D. and Vois Brooms Bent, M.D.  She attended Ford Green Elementary School and Washington Junior High School in Nashville.  She also attended Pearl High School for a brief period of time.  In June of 1952, when she was fourteen years of age, she relocated from Nashville to Oakland, California with her mother and her sisters.  At that time, she entered Oakland Technical High School.  A year later, she transferred to Berkeley High School and joined the A Capella Choir there.  She made a very strong impression with her vocal talent and became a soloist in this choir.  After she graduated from Berkeley High, she attended San Francisco State University.  In 1957, while she was still a student at SFSU, she became a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.  In 1959, she graduated from San Francisco State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Science. 

After she graduated from SFSU, she started to work as a Social Work Trainee with Alameda County Social Services on August 10, 1959.  Six months later, she was promoted to the position of Social Worker and worked in the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program.  She also worked as a Program Director for the City of Oakland Parks and Recreation Department and later worked as a Parole Agent with the California Youth Authority.  As she made progress in her professional life, she also made progress in her personal life.  She was married to Robert Collis Joseph on May 1, 1966.  From this marriage came two children: her daughter Angela and her son Robert.  She was a devoted wife and a full-time mother for several years before she went back to work as a part-time caregiver at a convalescent home in Santa Rosa, California.

She earned a Master of Arts degree in Counseling from Sonoma State University.  When she returned to full-time work, she became a Child Welfare Worker for Alameda County Children’s Protective Services.  In June of 1988, she started to work in the position of Parole Agent I with the California Department of Corrections.  In January of 1997, she was promoted to the level of Parole Agent II and became the Sexually Violent Predators Program Coordinator for Region II - a region which extends along the California coastline from the California-Oregon border in the North to Ventura County in the South.  On May 17, 1999, she was promoted to the level of Parole Agent III as she became the Unit Supervisor for the San Leandro Unit.  When she retired from this position on December 7, 2001, it marked the conclusion of a professional life that spanned more than 42 years.

In her life in retirement, she remained very active.  She served as a volunteer at Children’s Hospital of Oakland.  She also supported a number of charitable organizations.  In the St. Columba Catholic Church community, she served as a member of the St. Columba Choir for more than 20 years and served as a member of the Knights of Peter Claver Ladies Auxiliary for 15 years.  Most of all, she enjoyed spending quality time with her family members and her dear friends.

She was preceded in transition by her father Michael James Bent, M.D., her mother Vois Brooms Bent, M.D., and her sister Patricia Dianne Bent-Hilliard.  She is survived by her daughter Angela Michelle Joseph, her son Robert Vincent Joseph, her sister Meckila Bent Pierce, and several nieces, nephews, grand nieces, grand nephews, and cousins.  Her legacy is a life that serves, a heart that loves, and a spirit that lives in eternal peace.


Memory wall

Post your condolences or share your Memories.

March 13, 2024
My Dear Soror Beyond The Veil,

We’ve never met, but I’ve felt your grace through your children. Thank you for being an inspiration in life and love.

Praying for and with you in gratitude,
Shani Am. Moore
March 12, 2024
Oh such a lovely Lady. I feel so fortunate to have spent so many years with her and other Tennessee State University’s “ Campus Brats”. What glorious time we spent in that cherished environment/home. I still see you and hear those beautiful high notes you were capable of making. May you continue to sing in your new heavenly home.
Rosary Harper
March 7, 2024
Soror Cresa was so kind and cheerful every time we met. Her kindness will never be forgotten.
Jana Taylor
March 7, 2024
Your beautiful spirit lives on. I thank God for the gift that you provided to us during your time here on earth. Now you are among the angels and may you rest in the peace of being with your Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Your positive nature, your smile and your service are an inspiration to keep doing good works. You have been a faithful servant. Love and Light! Solari and Hollis Pierce-Jenkins
Hollis Marie Pierce-Jenkins
March 7, 2024
"O God of the living and the dead, you raised Jesus from the dead, raise up those who have died and grant that we may share eternal glory with them." Dining at the Welcome Table of the Lord, greeting Peter and Paul, embracing
loved ones from the past and now your present, has to be most glorious. Enjoy, dear Cresa, these wonderful blessings throughout the rest of your eternal life!
Rawn Harbor
March 7, 2024
Rest well Aunt Cresa 🙏🏾❤️ job well done!! Your servant heart and tireless dedication while on earth are an inspiration to us all! Condolences to Angela, Robert and the entire family!
Love always,
Jennifer Joseph
March 7, 2024
Thank you Ms. Bent for always treating me like a son. I know how much you meant to Angela and Robert, and you will be sorely missed. May you rest in peace with God.
Dr. Duru Ahanotu
March 6, 2024
Rest in Paradise Lady Cresa
A true example of Beauty both inside and out. You were and will always serve as a standard of class knowledge wisdom style and grace. Your beautiful legacy lives on in your children. Heaven has gained another Angel. God bless and keep her children and her family!
Evelyn Roquemore
March 6, 2024
March 6, 2024

I thank Cresa for the wonderful family gatherings she convened. The food was always healthy and delicious; the conversation humorous, loving and supportive and the benefit of communing together unparalleled. Thank you Cresa for including me.
I also remember her commitment to God. Because of her, I attended a number of inspiring 'midnight masses'.
Olivia Lynch
Olivia Lynch
March 5, 2024
Cresa, you will be greatly missed, but I know my mom will be happy to see you and will have a cup of tea waiting for you up in heaven. Thank you for all the kindness you showed our family— we so greatly appreciated you and the friendship you shared with our mom.
EIleen & Eric Kahn
Eileen Kahn
March 5, 2024
I met Cresa while we were working at Alameda County Social Services. She was always very warm and friendly and always had a smile on her face. I got to know her on a personal level later and along with some other friends, we would always celebrate each others birthday. She was a very sweet and caring person and I will really miss her.
Sandra Davis
March 4, 2024
Cresa, you are the embodiment of joy and kindness and strength. These gifts and your legacy live on through your children, who are wonderful reflectons of you. Thank you for all the gifts you gave this world.
Thank you for your children who are my lifelong friends. And thank you for living the example of what goodness is. You will be missed on this earth, Although i'm sure you'll return when Bobby or Angie need your wisdom or guidance. You are walking with the ancestors now, and i'm sure they are overjoyed to have you in their midst.
Aho! Ase!
Gwenyth Shears
March 3, 2024
Special thanks to Cresa for all the prayers & words of encouragement during my battle with cancer. I love you Cresa & know that you are resting in God’s arms. My mother & I will always treasure your friendship & support. We send condolences to your family & will keep your family in prayer.
Cathy Brown
JoAnn Banks
Catherine Brown
March 3, 2024
There are no words to express our gratitude for all you did for us. Including being Vernon's sponsor during his Rights to Christian Initiation. Cresa, We love you and will miss you. ~Rest In Heaven ~

Vernon and Linda Whitmore
Linda and Vernon Whitmore
March 2, 2024
I will miss you my dear friend Crisa. I looked forward to the yearly invites to St Colombo’s zydeco events. You were truly a great person in your professions especially as a parole agent supervisor. Your friends and coworkers will truly miss you.
Muriel Martin
March 2, 2024
In loving memory of my dear sweet cousin, Cresa❤️
Stephanie Spears


The Life Celebration of Cresa Antoinette Bent was on Thursday, March 7, 2024 at St. Columba Catholic Church in Oakland, California.  The Mass was from 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM followed by the repast in the St. Columba parish hall.
St. Columba Catholic Church
6401 San Pablo Avenue
Oakland, CA 94608
March 7, 2024 - 10:00 AM


Cresa Antoinette Bent sponsored 5 children in association with World Vision over a period of 21 years.  To make a donation to World Vision in her honor, please visit: 

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