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Albert Leo Bentele, 82, of Independence, MO passed away on May 8th, 2022.
Leo is survived by his daughter, Kim (Bentele) Fischer of Lee’s Summit, son, Randy and Cindy (Johnston) Bentele of Olathe, KS and the grandchildren he adored, Danielle Fischer of Phoenix, AZ, Bethany (Bentele) and Cory Peterson, and their child Lydia (great grandchild) of Overland Park, KS, Hannah Bentele of Dallas, TX, Leah (Fischer) and Kyle Kane of Kansas City, MO, Joshua Bentele of Overland Park, KS, and Peter Bentele of Nashville, TN. Leo has two surviving siblings, his brother Raymond and Debbie Bentele of St Louis, MO, his sister Carolyn (Bentele) and Jerry Snidow of St. Peters, MO and his sister-in-law, Carol (Landes) Morgan of Merriam, KS and many loved nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his wife Aletha Kay (Landes) Bentele, beloved daughter, Stephanie Ann Bentele, and his parents Dorothy (Modglin) and Albert Bentele. Also, his siblings Kenneth Bentele, Elizabeth (Bentele) Lowe, Mildred (Bentele) Chambers, Norbert Bentele, Reta (Bentele) Cupp, and Ronald Bentele.
Leo was born on October 20, 1939, at the family home in Excello, MO and proudly grew up in Macon, MO. Born the seventh of nine children, Leo loved being part of a large family and he often reflected on the many memories they made together. He graduated from Macon High School in 1957 where he was a standout football player and captain. Leading the Macon Tigers to an undefeated season and state championship, his football prowess would allow him to attend University of Missouri (MU) on a full-ride football scholarship. After two years of college, he left school to marry the love of his life Kay Landes in 1960 and they established their home in Independence, MO. Over the next few years, the couple had 3 children Stephanie, Kim and Randy. Leo loved to dance and was a great dancer. The kids have fond memories of their parents dancing to “Kansas City” around the living room. Leo was also a phenomenal cook. Some of his specialties included homemade ice cream, prime rib at Christmas dinner and rhubarb pie fresh from his garden. The family recalls he would often belt out “O sole mio” when Italian was on the menu. Leo began his career in personal finance and after a few years, transitioned to sales for SBS industrial solutions. Initially, Leo sold industrial supplies and hand cleaners but would eventually move to medical equipment sales and rentals. Leo was passionate about working closely with health care workers and in an effort to show gratitude, Leo became known as the “candy man” as he would often gift a box of chocolates to the hospital staff when delivering equipment. Upon retiring, Leo enjoyed the simple pleasures in life, sharing his knowledge with all the grandkids and finding a great deal or two for them at Cargo Largo, Sam’s, or Costco! Eventually, once her health declined, Leo became a full-time caregiver for his wife Kay until her death in 2019.
Leo was a devoted Catholic who was active in his local parish, St Marks Catholic Church in Independence for many years. Leo was a true renaissance man. He was an avid news junkie, loved to talk current events and kept smart with the latest technology. He loved the Kansas City Chiefs, but was a die-hard MU Tigers fan and his wardrobe proudly repped black and gold! He enjoyed gardening, yardwork and spending time outdoors. Although he was not certified, people often sought his advice on lawn care, landscaping, car maintenance and home improvement. Leo loved to care for the little creatures that resided in his backyard. For his birds, he spent time ensuring the nest boxes were hung, the hummingbird feeders were full and the seed was spread. He spent a lot of time devising new ways to keep the squirrels out of the birdfeeders and his grandkids fondly reflect on helping identify his feathered friends in one of his many bird books. For his monarch butterflies, he harvested and planted milkweed after doing research to find out that it would help their populations thrive. For his honeybees, he made sure fresh sugarwater placed on marbles would be available to provide a drink for tired worker bees. Leo instilled in his family the love for cooking, gardening, nature, landscaping and handywork. The family could always sense his joy in sharing his experiences with everyone and teaching life skills. His legacy will live on in the education, experiences, recipes, gifts, and fond memories he gave to us all.
A visitation will be held from 10:00-11:00am prior to the funeral Mass at 11:00am on June 11th, 2022 at St. Roberts Bellarmine Catholic Church located at 4313 MO-7 Blue Springs MO 64014. Interment will be at Floral Hills East Cemetery in Lee’s Summit with a reception to follow at St. Robert’s. Father Richard Rocha will officiate the ceremony. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Leo’s life. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to St Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Donate now to St. Jude and help kids fighting cancer – St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (stjude.org)