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74, of Scottsdale, AZ passed away peacefully on April 2, 2012 from respiratory failure cased by pulmonary fibrosis. Bentdahl was a resident of Scottsdale and also maintained a home in Edina, MN with his wife of 53 years, Shirley. He was born September 19th, 1937 and raised on the family farm near Hanska, MN. Bentdahl graduated from New Ulm High School in 1955, Luther College in 1959, and was a recipient of the Luther College Distinguished Alumni Award in 2009. He began a 44 year career in commercial banking in 1963 at the Rushford State Bank in southern MN. At the age of 29, he acquired the Commercial State Bank of Hokah, MN. Through the 1970's and 1980's he went on to acquire a total of 12 bank locations in various southern Minnesota communities. In 1974, he developed a residential subdivision named Fox Chase Road near Hokah, MN. In 1977, the Bentdahl family moved to Edina, MN and in 1978 he acquired the Americana State Bank of Edina. In the 1980's and early 1990's he sold the southern MN bank locations to focus on growing Americana Bank in the Twin Cities. In 2002, the bank name was changed to Excel Bank. In 2007, Excel merged with Milwaukee-based M & I Bank. Bentdahl served as Chairman of several boards, including the Luther College Board of Regents, the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation, and Excel Bank Corporation. He was a member of several organizations, including the Minnesota Bankers Association, Rotary Club, and the Minneapolis Club. He was a generous philanthropist and active fundraiser for many charitable causes. He was also an avid motorcycling and sports car enthusiast, and he spent many joyous hours behind the wheel at various racetracks driving a Porsche or Ferrari, or driving his Harley Davidson to the four corners of the USA (11,000 miles in 18 days). His greatest joy was spending time with his family and many, many friends. He is survived by his wife Shirley; children Ann (fiance Roger) and Craig (wife Stephanie); grandchildren Kelsey, Kinsey, Kelly and Kate; nieces Kristi Nitz (husband Mike) and Mary Babel Tzucker (husband Bob); grandnieces Avery, Lyla, Carolyn and grandnephews Ryan, Noah, and Keane. He was preceded in death by his parents, Edgar & Lyla Bentdahl, and younger sister Kathleen Babel. A funeral service will be held on Thursday April 5th at 4:00 pm at Pinnacle Presbyterian Church, 25150 North Pima Road, Scottsdale, followed by a reception at Pinnacle Peak Country Club, 8701 East Pinnacle Peak Road, Scottsdale. A second memorial service will be held on April 10th at 4:00 pm in Edina, MN at Normandale Lutheran Church. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts can be made to Luther College (700 College Drive, Decorah IA 52101) or the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation (920 E 28th St #100 Minneapolis, MN 55407).
Published in The Arizona Republic from Apr. 4 to Apr. 5, 2012