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Marian Edwards "Ruth" Bentzinger

1932 - 2018
Marian Edwards "Ruth" Bentzinger Obituary
Marian "Ruth" Edwards Bentzinger

Lawrence, KS - Marian "Ruth" Edwards Bentzinger, daughter of Otis and Elsie Burgess Edwards was born October 30, 1932 in Moulton, Iowa. She departed this life on November 12, 2018 at Bridgehaven Care Center in Lawrence, Kansas at the age of 86 years. Ruth was a graduate of Moulton High School class of 1950. She attended Iowa Wesleyan College and was a member of Pi Beta Phi Sorority.

On February 28th, 1952 Ruth was united in marriage to the Reverend Richard A. Bentzinger in Moulton, Iowa. Richard and Ruth moved to Boston, Massachusetts where Richard attended Boston University School of Theology. While there they served St. Mark's Methodist Church in Brookline, Massachusetts.

Upon returning to Iowa, they were appointed to the Iowa Conference churches of Altoona (1958-1968), St. John's, Des Moines (1968-1974), and First Church, Newton (1974-1988). When Richard retired, he and Ruth served the Mennonite-Presbyterian Yoked Fellowship (1988-2005) in Richard's hometown of Donnellson, Iowa.

Ruth and Richard were on the front lines of the Civil Rights Movement through the Congress on Racial Equality (CORE) and the NAACP. They participated in the historic March on Washington, August 28, 1963.

Ruth was a member of Original Chapter A of PEO, United Methodist Women and the Mount Pleasant Alumni Chapter of Pi Beta Phi. She also served on the Board of the Donnellson Library. Ruth was well known for her baking for church and community gatherings. She loved music and was an accomplished pianist and organist.

Ruth was preceded in death by her husband of 56 years, Richard, her parents, two sisters, Daphne and Jeanne, and seven brothers, William, Ronald, James, Theodore, Paul, David and Phillip. Survivors include daughters, Rebecca Jane Bentzinger of Washington, DC; Sarah Kathryn (Rick) Clarahan of Sergeant Bluff, Iowa; and sons, John Wesley (Pat) Bentzinger of Long Island, New York; and Philip Embury (Kari) Bentzinger of Lawrence, Kansas. Three grandchildren, Jacob Clarahan and Emma and Ethan Bentzinger. She also had a number of nieces and nephews and other family members who were a cherished part of her life.

A Memorial Service will take place on Sunday, December 9, 2018 at the Donnellson United Methodist Church. The family invites all attendees to a lunch at 12noon followed by the Memorial Service at 1:00 pm. The body has been cremated with burial at a later date in the Donnell Cemetery, Donnellson, Iowa.

Memorials in Ruth's honor may be given to the Donnellson United Methodist Church, Donnellson, Iowa 52625 or Heifer International, One World Avenue, Little Rock, AK 72202 (

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Published in Des Moines Register from Nov. 27 to Dec. 2, 2018
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