Marvin Arno “Benny” Bendorf, age 87, of Iowa City, Iowa, formerly of Amana, passed away Thursday morning, July 17, 2014 at Colonial Manor of Amana. Funeral Service: 10 A.M. Monday, July 21, 2014, Amana Community Church, Amana, Iowa, with Elder Harold Pitz officiating. Burial will be in the Amana Cemetery with military honors. Visitation: 4 to 7 P.M. Sunday, July 20, 2014 at the Amana Community Church. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Amana Church Society, the Amana Heritage Society or the Amana Arts Guild. Kloster Funeral Home, Marengo is in charge of arrangements.
Mr. Bendorf was born in the village of High Amana on September 4, 1926, the son of Henry and Susanna Wendler Bendorf.
Benny is survived by his wife Madeline Roemig Bendorf with whom he was united in marriage on June 26, 1999; two sons, John (Martha) of Iowa City and Carl (Linda) of Solon, IA; two grandchildren, Analiese (Jason) Brown of Boulder, CO, and Oliver Bendorf of Madison, WI; a sister, Marietta Moershel of Middle Amana; and a brother, Henry "Hank" (Kathy) Bendorf of Shawnee Mission, KS.
Additional survivors include niece Marianne Moershel (Bruce Woodrow) and sons Erich and Matthew, niece Rebecca Moershel (Larry Gordon) and daughter Ellie, all of Toronto, Canada; nephew Scott (Ursula) Williams of Middle Amana and daughter Emilie (Mike) Kaplan; niece Angela (Warner) Jamison of North Carolina; niece Sally Williams of Fairfax IA and daughter Claudia (Adam) Ahrens; and great-nieces, Betsy (Brian) Harrison and Katy (Nick) Dohrmann. Also, stepdaughters Elizabeth Cooper of Charleston, SC; Carol (David) Heusinkveld of Amana, IA; and, Susan (John) Goree of Iowa City, IA and step-grandchildren Katherine and Martin Goree, Forrest Heusinkveld and James Cooper.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his first wife of 43 years, Emaline Noe' Bendorf with whom he was united in marriage on June 19, 1949; a brother, William "Billy" Bendorf of High Amana; a sister, Elizabeth Williams of Fairfax, IA; niece, Nancy Williams Cook; nephew, Brian Bendorf; grandnephew, Morgan Williams; and step-grandson, Jordan Heusinkveld.
After graduating from the Amana High School in 1943 and completing his freshman year at the University of Iowa, Mr. Bendorf enlisted in the US Navy where he served on two Destroyer Escorts in enemy submarine work in the Atlantic. One of Benny's most memorable experiences while on active duty during WWII occurred while his ship was being prepared in Brooklyn Navy Yard, NY, for a voyage into the Pacific and expected invasion of Japan. On August 14, 1945, President Truman announced the surrender of Japan whereupon Benny and many of his shipmates as well as thousands of others rushed to Times Square for an indescribable celebration.
After discharge from military service in 1946, he returned to the University of Iowa and upon graduation in 1949, continued on to complete a year of post graduate work. While at the University of Iowa Benny was a major letter winner in baseball as a second baseman for the Hawkeyes.
His passion for sports led him to teaching positions and coaching baseball and basketball in the Walford and Blairstown public schools. During this time he also played baseball for the town teams of Amana, Marengo and Williamsburg and also for the M & J League of Cedar Rapids.
Subsequently he was employed at Amana Refrigeration, Inc. for six years after which he accepted a position as sales and marketing manager for the Amana Society Furniture Manufacturing Division in 1957, a career from which he retired in 1988 after thirty one years of service.
Benny was also an avid golfer and a former member of Elmcrest Country Club in Cedar Rapids. He was a charter member of the Amana Colonies Golf Course and enjoyed the game throughout his lifetime. Always a passionate Hawkeye he supported the Hawks throughout the years.
Throughout his lifetime, Mr. Bendorf devoted time and served enthusiastically in community and civic affairs which included the Amana Society, Inc., Board of Directors and Management Committee; numerous community boards and chairmanships on fund-raising committees for non-profit organizations including the Amana Heritage Society, University of Iowa Coaches Versus Cancer; Iowa Center for Industrial Research & Service (CIRAS); and the State of Iowa Small Business Administration (SBA). He served as a volunteer at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics and Mercy Hospital, Iowa City. He was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity and the University of Iowa President's Club. Mr. Bendorf was a lifelong member of the Amana Church Society and served devotedly in the capacity of Elder from 1962 to 1988.
Benny loved visiting with friends and strangers alike. He enjoyed sharing his sense of humor and repertoire of jokes. He found great pleasure in his garden, both in the planning and planting of hundreds of annuals every year in just the right combination of eye-pleasing colors and patterns. Nature’s beauty was his delight.
Benny often expressed gratitude for the many blessings God had permitted him throughout his lifetime; for a fulfilling, exciting, and meaningful life filled with loving family and many dear friends by whom he will be greatly missed.