Let the family know you care by sharing this tribute.
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)
Mark Bentele says
Devoted. Leo was devoted to his family, the pursuit of a good deal and food. You’ll never know anyone who loved his wife and children more in such a gracious manner. Doing for them was his life and his joy. The man invented the concept of an outlet store. Leo hunted a great deal for wingtip shoes as stealthily and relentlessly as lesser men hunt deer. Shopping was a sport that meant never paying retail price in a conventional establishment. I learned, but never mastered the art of the omelet from him. BBQ brisket will always be an Uncle Leo memory. A proper one is tender to the fork and induces meat sweats across a broad forehead. My last memory of course involved food. I spotted him in the back of a hometown café. A shouted Seinfeldian “UNCLE LEO!” was our thing. We had a good chuckle and when I paid for his meal in tribute for all he did for me while attending school in KC, the waitress groused about “a lotta noise” in the back. A smile, a wave and I saw him no more. Sometimes you do, but usually you don’t, know when it is the last encounter with someone you love. Make it count.
Robin Collins says
So very sorry to hear about your fathers passing. Both your parents were the sweetest people and they loved M & D. Thankful our paths crossed. Love, hugs and strength sent to the entire family.
Raymond Bentele says
With much sadness as his older, bigger, and better looking brother I would like to impart a few words about my kid brother. He wouldn’t like any of that!!. Seriously, he was the shortest, (not lightest) of we five Bentele boys but he was the most caring and tender hearted of all of us. He was also perhaps the most determined and toughest. I recall fighting with him as young lads and he would never give in although I was about to break his arm. He would not say “Uncle” however after I would let him up he would go and tattle tell to our Mother and then I would be in trouble. Despite his lack of height and against all odds he became a really good football player, owing to his toughness. Much to his older brother, Norbert’s chagrin who was also on one of the only other undefeated Macon football team, Leo’s team won more games. I took him to see Mike Shannon who was quarterback of the freshman football team at Mizzou a couple of years ago and he still remembered Leo and his toughness.
Karen Bentele says
Uncle Leo was the kindest man with a great big heart with room for all. His laughter could often be heard over the din at gatherings, and he loved to be in the center of creating fun for us kids when we visited. He reveled in his role as head chef and human encyclopedia on a wide variety of topics, and he never minded our playful ruckus. We called him “the baby whisperer.” If there was a fussy baby, we would hand off to Uncle Leo and they would soon be asleep, cradled in his arms or on his comfortable shoulder. Uncle Leo was a man of his word, and a deeply spiritual man. He was a family man and was beloved by us – not just as an Uncle- but a bonus Dad. His kind, thoughtful advice was always spot on. His humor and easy attitude was, although a given, make no mistake, he would call out any of us if we were misbehaving, rightfully so. And not one of us ever wanted to disappoint Uncle Leo. My Mother has always described Uncle Leo to others as a living saint because he took such good care of her baby sister, Aunt Kay, and everyone else in the entire family with such kindness and patience. You know, I think she is absolutely right. Rest In Peace Uncle Leo – we love you – you are forever in our hearts and prayers.
Christy Kinnd says
I am deeply saddened for your loss. You are in my prayers, always.
With much love, Christy
LEN BURKHART says
I am so sad tto hear LEO has passed. HE was my best friend ands buddy in high school and when we were room mates in kansas city. MY best regards to all of the family.