Lorraine Frances Bendix, 92, of rural Echo, passed away on Tuesday, October 31, 2017 at the Rice Care Center in Willmar. Funeral services were held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, November 4 at the Wood Lake Methodist Church in Wood Lake. Visitation was from 5 – 7 p.m. on Friday at the church and continued one hour prior to the service at the church on Saturday. Interment was in the Echo Cemetery.
Lorraine Frances Nelson Smith Bendix was born March 24, 1925 to Arthur Nelson and Clara (Hanger) Nelson in Minneapolis. In her youth she was a member of the Girl Scouts. She attended Washburn High School in Minneapolis graduating in January of 1943. In March of 1943, she married Robert F. Smith in Casper WY, becoming widowed in December 1943 when he was killed in action when the B-24 Liberator, Holiday Mess 2, on which he was serving as a ball turret gunner was brought down near Vroomshoop and Den Ham in the Netherlands.
Lorraine worked with the Army Signal Corp until the end of World War II and then opened a book and card shop in Minneapolis not far from the home she grew up in. In January 1949, she married Gerhard E. W. Bendix and moved to Echo where they farmed. Lorraine was active in the community working with 4-H clubs and other organizations. In her later years she volunteered at the Echo Elementary School and later when it became Echo Charter School assisting teachers, students, and staff with school activities.
Putting up seasonal decorations in the hallways was one of her favorite things to do. Though distance prevented attendance she remained a lifelong member of Westminster Presbyterian Church for 80 years in Minneapolis where until her death she was the oldest continuous living member.
She is survived by her sister Eileen (Robert) Shoemaker of Chisago City, her daughter Kerry (Tony) Texley of Willmar, her sons Jed Bendix of Echo, and Arthur (Lisa) Bendix of Justin TX; two grandsons Lee Bendix and Jesse Texley, and a granddaughter Tracy Texley, a great-grandson Aiden Moorman and great granddaughter Maetzin Bastian Texley, and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her beloved parents, two husbands, and a grand-daughter, Anna Bendix.