Obituary for Dennis Harold Bentzen

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Dennis “Punky” H. Bentzen, 69, passed away peacefully in his home on Tuesday, October 17, 2017, surrounded by his loving family and holding his wife in his arms.
Denny was born on October 2, 1948 in La Crosse, WI. He honorably served his country in the U.S. Navy and was a member of the American Legion Post 417. He married his best friend and the love of his life on May 2, 1981 and they were inseparable ever since. He was a conductor who devoted 37 years working at the Burlington Northern Railroad. After retirement he enjoyed vacationing in South Padre Island, TX with his wife and close friends. Throughout his entire life he was an avid fisherman which led him on many fishing trips from his north side playgrounds of the La Crosse River, over to Lakes of Michigan and up north to the Canadian waters. He was also known for hosting some of the best fish fry’s in town. He was kind and friendly to all people which attributed to the beauty of his heart and soul. He was skillful at fixing anything and was always lending a helping hand. He was a true servant of the Lord and will be deeply missed by all that knew him.
Dennis is survived by his loving wife of 35+ years, Donna aka Jean (Beyer) Bentzen; loving daughter Paula aka Punks (Demarion) Cox-Bey; four grandchildren Bryanna, Amir, Aaliyah and Catalina; his “adopted” son and daughter Michael and Penny Smith; brother and sister-in-laws, Richard (Judy) Beyer, Robert Beyer, Patty (Paul) Houser; half-brothers David Bentzen, Albert (Dawn) Bentzen, Robert (Karin) Bentzen; half-sisters Linda Pralle and Sandra (David) Silbaugh; Uncle Rich Koelbl, Aunt Jeanette Limpert; several cousins; nieces and nephews along with numerous other family and friends who loved him so much.
He was preceded in death by his mother, Helen Bentzen and “dad” Harry Maxwell, father Harold M. Bentzen, parents-in-law Harvey and Evelyn, sister-in-law, brother-in-law and many special aunts and uncles.
A memorial service with full military honors will be held at Olivet Lutheran Church, 2100 Bainbridge St., La Crosse, WI on October 28, 2017 with Visitation at 10:00am, Service at 11:00am. There will be an additional gathering for family and friends to share all the wonderful memories we have at the French Island American Legion, 700 Fishermans Rd. La Crosse, WI from 2:00pm-5:00pm. The family would like to express their gratitude to all the caregivers, doctors and the Hospice team from Gundersen Health System along with the outpouring of support from family and friends during this time. As Denny always said to many friends and family, “Thanks for being you!”
In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund may be given to Olivet Lutheran Church or St Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. Information and online condolences may be given to the family at