Major Robert E. Bendl, 87, of Lake Placid, Fla., passed away on Monday, March 28, 2011, in Charlotte, N.C.
Born on Jan. 22, 1924 in Bergenfield, N.J., to the late Edward and Gertrude Bendl, Robert was one of two children.
He is survived by his sister, Marjorie Bendl Snyder of Walnut Creek, Calif. Robert’s wife, Gloria, preceded him in death in May 2009.
Robert joined the U.S. Navy right after Pearl Harbor, and served throughout the war with the Naval Aviation branch in the South Pacific. He was discharged in 1945 as a Petty Officer 1st Class. He returned to New Jersey, married Gloria Duesing in 1948, and took up dairy farming and boat repairs in Lake Champlain, N.Y.
After the outbreak of the Korean Conflict, he enlisted in the U.S. Army as a Sergeant in 1951. He was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant, and graduated from both fixed wing and helicopter flight schools. He served in the Korean Conflict, flying both types of aircraft. When the Korean Conflict ended in 1954, he was assigned to Sendai, Japan, and the family joined him there.
Returning again to Virginia in 1955, he served in the Army Transportation Research and Development Command, as Special Projects Officer, earning six U.S. patents for his designs for off-loading cargo from ships by helicopter.
In 1964 he was assigned to the Republic of Korea as the Senior Advisor the Korean Army Transportation Corps.
Upon returning stateside, he was assigned to the General’s Staff at Ft. Lee, Virginia. He retired from that post in 1966, turning his attention to his trailer park and boat businesses.
After selling the trailer park, the family moved to Mathews, Va., in 1972, to a home on the water where he could test-drive the boats he continued to sell and service. He also began to take longer and longer trips to Homestead, Fla., until it became his home.
Hurricane Andrew convinced him to move to higher ground, and he settled in Lake Placid in 1995 where he could enjoy the weather, and the nearby airfield.
Robert is survived by four of his five children, Robert Jr. of Roanoke, Va., Stephen (Mary Sue) of Charlotte N.C., David (Angie) of Chicago, Ill., and Helen Bendl Cronk (David) of Chesapeake, Va. His oldest daughter, Marjorie Bendl Moore, preceded him in death in 1995. He was also blessed with 10 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
A service was held at 11 a.m. Friday, April 1, in the Parklawn Memorial Park Mausoleum in Hampton.
Arrangements were under the direction of Parklawn-Wood Funeral Home, 2551 N. Armistead Ave., Hampton, Va. 23666.