Ken Bentz

Died: Sat., Mar. 14, 2020


Mass of Christian Burial

12:00 PM Wed., Mar. 18, 2020
Location: Holy Family Catholic Church


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Kenneth John Bentz passed away in Ontario, Oregon on 14 March 2020 at the age of 95. Ken was born on Dec. 13, 1924 to John and Mae Peters Bentz in their mill house at Roaring Springs in Linn County Oregon.

Ken was the 4th of 7 children and the oldest son.
The family moved to Sublimity, Oregon to a small farm so the kids could attend St. Boniface School. Soon the Great Depression was in full swing. Like so many others, those struggles molded him for life in both family and business matters.
As a young man, Ken worked in the woods and mills until enlisting in the Navy. He served in the Pacific theater during WWII. After his service he joined two brothers in laws in a sawmill operation in the Monterey, California area.
Having grown up wanting to learn about the east side ranching industry he and lifelong friend Dick Cremer headed towards Jordan Valley. They stopped a bit short of there when they were hired on to the White Horse Ranch owned by Paul and Ruth Stewart. It was there that his education began. For the rest of his life when anyone asked him where he went to college, he would just say the “University of White Horse”.
Paul and Ruth became his in laws when Ken married Paul and Ruth’s daughter Anne in 1949. They then split their time between the White Horse and a ranch they started in Linn County. During these years the first 4 children joined the family. In 1960 they returned full time to the White Horse. When Paul and Ruth sold the ranch and retired to Caldwell, Ken and Anne moved north of Drewsey and started the V Dash Cattle Company. The last three children were born making 7.
Ken was a successful cowman and developed good working ranches. Along with Anne they made sure the kids were raised with a strong work ethic and a real sense of Stewardship not only for the land and animals but one’s communities as well. They lead by example, always ready to help someone in need or helping others become more successful and fulfill their dreams. Ken and Anne served their communities, Schools and Industry with service on many boards and committees. Ken was a Harney County Commissioner and always challenging his kids with the question of “How big is one’s back yard”? Meaning you are responsible for more than just yourself.
The kids thank their Father and Mother for a strong sense of family, encouragement to try new things, insistence on critical thinking, determination to finish any job, a love of books, honesty and generosity.
Ken dreamed of being a cowman and his dream was fulfilled. The ride may have been bumpy from time to time but thanks for bringing us all along.
Ken leaves behind daughter Kathy and Jim Neal, sons, Senator Cliff and Dr. Lindsay Norman, Jim and Alicia, Sheriff Andy (ret.) and Joan, Ken and Debbie, Fr. Jack Bentz S.J., and daughter-in-law Linda Bentz.
20 grandchildren, 17 great grandchildren and many friends and he so enjoyed mentoring and supporting on their way to success.
Ken was preceded in death by his wife Anne Stewart Bentz and youngest son Michael T. Bentz, his parents, in-laws and all his siblings.

Mass of Christian Burial will be held at the Holy Family Catholic Church at 12:00 PM, Wednesday, March 18th followed by interment and military honors.

Due to current virus concern the family will not hold a reception.

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Condolence Booklet

Glenda Mendiola
   Posted Mon March 16, 2020
So very sorry for your loss, was a life well lived. Love and Prayers, Dennis and Glenda Mendiola

Grant & Gaye Gunderson
   Posted Tue March 17, 2020
So saddened to hear of your loss. Ken was a wonderful man. What a wonderful legacy he leaves to Eastern Oregon.

James Scott
   Posted Tue March 17, 2020

A GARDEN PATH was sent by Scotts.

We’re there in spirit with you all - it was a privilege to have known him, and we so cherish our continuing connection to the Bentzes. The Scotts - Bill, Jim, Andy, Brian


Tom and Delta Maupin
   Posted Wed March 18, 2020
Sincere Sympathy to the family of Ken. He was a great neighbor and friend from way back. RIP, Ken.
Sincerely,
Tom and Delta

Pauline Sheehan and Lee Graves
   Posted Wed March 18, 2020
Cliff, so sorry for your loss. There is such vacancy with losing a parent. I think Ken was at assisted living, in a room close to my aunt Axella Stephen, who died in 2019.

Kathy Dunleavy
   Posted Wed March 18, 2020
Cliff and family, I am so very sorry for your loss. My sympathy and prayers are with you and your family. Kathy Dunleavy

Rick Hancock
   Posted Thu March 19, 2020
A Great Man Pleased to have done business with him RIP Ken

Mildred Fine
   Posted Thu March 19, 2020
To all of the Ken Bentz families:
It was an honor to know Ken. He and his family have been great friends to me and the Fine families. He will be greatly missed. We send our sympathy and are thankful for your family.
Warm regards,
Mildred Fine

Mike & Mary Lou Koto
   Posted Fri March 27, 2020
We cherished our times with your dad. We benefitted from and appreciated his generosity with what he knew. And we enjoyed his drive to learn whatever he needed or wanted to know! To spend time with Ken Bentz meant to be enriched. Please accept our condolences.
Mike & Mary Lou Koto

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