James “Jim” Lee Bendt, 74, of Blue Grass, passed away Sunday July 26, 2020, surrounded by his family at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City. Per his wishes, cremation rites will be accorded. A drive-through visitation will be held Aug. 10 from 3 to 6 p.m. at New Era Lutheran Church, 3455 New Era Road, Muscatine. A private family service will be held at a later date. Memorials may be made to the family to be given to the Healthwell Foundation for Pulmonary Fibrosis research, or to New Era Church. Online condolences may be left at rungemortuary.com.
Jim was born Jan. 26, 1946, in Davenport, the son of George and Anna (Dittrich) Bendt. He proudly served his country during the Vietnam War by enlisting in the United States Air Force. During that time, he married his lifelong partner and friend, Lynn Stanger, on March 11, 1967, in Davenport.
They moved together to Alaska for the remainder of his service. In 1975, they welcomed their daughter, Heidi, into the family.
Prior to his military commitment, Jim had worked at Caterpillar, and he returned there after his service, where he received his certification as an electrician. While working full time there, he and Lynn owned and operated a farm south of DeWitt. The strain of two jobs eventually became too much and, in 1976, Jim opted to leave Caterpillar to follow his dream of farming full time. He raised hogs and crops until 1985 in Low Moor, where he was a member of the Pork Producers Association and also served as a council member and treasurer for the Zion Lutheran Church in Elvira.
Jim eventually returned to work as an electrician for the Raymond Corporation in Muscatine. There, he developed a reputation as a doctor of electricity, and his expertise was still sought long after his retirement in 2011. Additionally, he was a current member of the New Era Church in rural Muscatine County, where he served for 16 years as treasurer and council member.
Jim’s greatest joy in life was his family, and he was a beloved and reliable friend to many. He was a caring, kind, generous soul who never met a stranger and helped out whenever he could. He enjoyed fishing and gardening, but he delighted in telling a good (or not-so-good) joke and then prodding you with his elbow to make sure you got it. He followed the Iowa Hawkeyes, and he loved the St. Louis Cardinals.
Those left to cherish his memory include his loving wife, Lynn, daughter, Heidi (Luke) Surratt and their children, Cooper and Mia, Poplar Grove, Ill.; sister, Joan (George “Chico”) Hart, Davenport; brother, William (Rhonda) Bendt, Spring Hill, Fla.; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, George Bendt, Jr.
Heaven is receiving a true and faithful servant. Rest in peace, Jim.