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Paul John Bentler

Paul John Bentler, 81, of Park Rapids, died Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2009 at Merit-Care Hospital in Fargo, N.D.

He was born Oct. 16, 1927 in Randall to Bernard and Bertha (Boudreau) Bentler. He attended grade school in Randall and graduated from Little Falls High School. He graduated from Dunwoody Institute of Minneapolis. He was drafted in the Army Air Force in 1946 and served in the Philippines until 1947.

He married Mary Ann Unger in Sauk Centre on July 3, 1950. They had eight sons. He served at Camp Rucker in Alabama and in 1951 he was sent overseas to Korea. He returned after a year and was honorably discharged at Camp Carson, Colo. in October 1952. He worked at Camp Ripley before going to Korea and returned there and worked until 1957.

He owned and operated the North Star Gas Station and Garage in Randall from 1957-60. He worked for Minnesota Power from 1960-92. He transferred from Little Falls to Park Rapids in 1971.

He was a member of VFW Post 9073 of Randall and Otto Henderson American Legion Post 212 of Park Rapids. He was also a member of St. James Catholic Church of Randall and St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church of Park Rapids.

He is survived by his wife, Mary Ann of Park Rapids; and sons: Wayne (Lois), of Homer, Alaska, Mark (Deb), of Lakewood, Wash., David (Wanda), of Detroit Lakes, John (Laura), of Topeka, Kan., Dean (Terry), of Bemidji, Dan (Terry), of Bemidji, and Rick (Jill), of Chico, Calif.; a daughter-in-law: Marcie (DeWayne) Johnson, of Alexandria; 15 grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; a brother: Ray (Violet) Bentler, of El Paso, Texas; a sister: Jeanette Seurin, of Los Angeles, Calif.; three sisters-in-law: Lou, Dorothy and Pauline; and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, a son, Gordon; a grandson, Eric Bentler; 10 brothers: Stephan, Lawrence, Willis, Raymond, Leonard, David, James, Edward, Bernard and Alfred; and four sisters: Louise Manka, Marcella Japp, Sister Mary Cortona OSF and Bertha Schultz.

Honorary casket bearers: His grandchildren: Brian, Scott, Chris, Alan, Sara, Stephanie, Kyle, Katie, Daren, Andrew, Heather, Ben, Elizabeth, Abigail, Peter; and great-grandchildren: Arianna, Sophia, Zachary, Addison; and Gordon (deceased) and Eric Bentler (deceased).

Casket bearers: His sons: Wayne, Mark, David, John, Dean, Dan and Rick.

Visitation: 4-7 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 18 at Cease Family Funeral Chapel in Park Rapids and one hour prior to the service at the church on Monday.

Funeral service: 11 a.m. Monday, Jan. 19 at St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church in Park Rapids. The Alleluia Choir will lead the Congregational Songs of "Precious Lord Take My Hand," "On Eagles Wings," "Bless Be the Lord," "Faith of Our Fathers" and "How Great Thou Art." Otto Henderson American Legion Post 212 will provide the Color Guard at the church.

Interment: 3:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 19 at St. James Catholic Cemetery in Randall, with the Veterans of Foreign Wars of Randall providing the Color Guard, Flag Presentation, Taps and the 21 Gun Salute.