GREAT FALLS TRIBUNE                                                                 Tuesday, February 12, 2002

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Ernest Bendorf

  CONRAD -- World War II Army veteran Ernest Bendorf, 93, of Conrad, a retired painter and artist, died Sunday at Pondera Medical Center of natural causes.

  A celebration of his life will be 10 a.m. Thursday at First Presbyterian Church, with burial in Hillside Cemetery.

  Survivors include a stepson, Bill Jones of Florida; and a sister, Alva Samford of Arizona.

  He was preceded in death by his wife, Hazel in 1963.

  Also surviving are stepdaughter-in-law Lois Jones and family of Florida; a nephew, Jerry Bendorf of Las Vegas; nieces Gail Stewart of Fort Maclead, Alberta and Annette Kaufmann of Danberry, Conn.; a cousin, Lori Nelson of Coeur d'Alene; special friend, Wilma Sanders of Conrad; and his extended family of Bob, Cindy and Tadd Sanders, Shannon and Erika, Shelley, Bart, and Cecelia, Rob and Robin.

  Ernest was born in Rugby, N.D., on Aug. 17, 1908. He moved to Conrad in 1924 at the age of 16. He later brought his mother and siblings to Conrad. Ernest enlisted in the Army and served during WWII.

  In 1960, he married Hazel Erickson. She died in 1963.

  Ernest worked as a sign and house painter. He later started doing interior painting and wallpapering. In the 1950s he was known in Conrad for his Mountain Scene, which was painted on the south wall of the Conrad Bank.

  In 1974, he married Mary in Arizona. They enjoyed wintering in Arizona and California. They loved being in Montana for the summers in their home. It didn't matter where Ernest was, he usually had a painting in the works. Mary died in 1994.

 Ernest moved into the Horizon Lodge in 1996, where he became active in the Bible studies, morning walks and card games.

  Ernest's paintings can be found in many buildings in Conrad. He loved to paint and do woodworking crafts. He will be remembered by his kindness and thoughtfulness.

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