Natalie Ann Bentzen

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October 12, 1934 – September 26, 2017 There are a select few whom God has blessed with that special trait of unfettered GENEROSITY….giving of self, giving with no expectation of reward, giving of treasure, giving of time, giving of talent, giving with a ready smile and big heart, giving beyond means with a strong faith that the Lord will provide, giving financial assistance, giving encouragement, giving material possessions, giving love, giving for the pure joy of it. NATALIE ANN BENTZEN epitomized that trait to a tee, right up to her passing on the evening of September 26, 2017. Born on October 12, 1934 in Sheridan, Wyoming Natalie was the second child of Lyle and Ann Bentzen. From a wee child she was drawn to the outdoors, spending entire summers at the family cabin in the mountains above Sheridan, hiking, camping, building forts and tree houses, running and playing dawn to dusk….always with her brother Jim, and never without a dog. Sitting at the foot of her father while he sang and played the banjo, Natalie soon gained an appreciation of and passion for music. She learned to play the guitar, banjo, recorder, accordion, piano, organ, and even the spoons! Natalie moved from Sheridan and lived with her Mother in Casper, Wyoming, graduating from high school there before heading to Denver to work in the oil and gas industry. All the while, that ‘generosity’ trait was tugging at her heart, and with a strong passion for helping struggling youngsters, she attended night school at CU Denver for 13 years, finally receiving a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in special education. She was on the staff that opened the new Eisenhower Elementary in 1971 until retiring in 1997. The success stories from Eisenhower are too many to enumerate…children with significant learning disabilities getting the tough love from Ms. Bentzen, gaining self-confidence and experiencing once elusive success. Life for Natalie was vigorous and varied. She traveled extensively, drove the motor home to the northwest, supported anything CU, served as a Deacon at First Pres, even became a wine connoisseur. She loved going to her log cabin in Eldora – chopping wood for the fireplace and cook stove, feeding the birds and ground squirrels, soaking up the peaceful serenity and beauty of God’s creation. She had a wry sense of humor, was a master story teller, always with a ready smile and twinkle in her eye. Generous in so many ways, and after rising from a childhood where money was scarce, she provided funds to friends to pay the mortgage, to send children to college, help with excessive medical expenses, keep a business afloat, and upgrade the church organ. In response to a casual question to the director of the Jubilate! Sacred Singers about his dream ‘directing’ opportunity, she paid to rent Carnegie Hall in New York for a Jubilate! concert, raising funds for the homeless. Her solo in the Franz Biebl ‘Ave Maria’ left nary a dry eye in the audience. Natalie tackled her cancer diagnosis with the same determination and unrelenting zest for life that characterized her nearly 83 years, and, even in the final few days, savored every moment, placing her life in the loving hands of her Lord, and basking in the joy of friendships and beautiful surroundings. Every card, vase of flowers, phone call, and visit brought a smile and an overwhelming gratitude to realize that there were so many who cared about and loved her. To all the friends who drove Natalie to treatments and appointments, provided food, walked Roofus and Cricket, and the wonderful staff at Rocky Mtn. Cancer Center, to the faithful prayer warriors and medical professionals.– thank you! Natalie was preceded in death by her parents Lyle W. Bentzen and Ann Stone, and her brother James A. Bentzen. She is survived by her sister in law Joan Bentzen, half -brother William L. Bentzen (Emily), nieces Pamela Woodward (Gene) and Laurie Ball (Dave), nephews Scott Bentzen and Ryan Bentzen (Ami), great nieces and nephews Kayla Woodward, Austin Woodward (Miranda), Aaron Woodward, Evan Ball, and Lillia and Jake Bentzen, grandnephew James Russell Woodward, and longtime friend Margaret Brubaker. A celebration of Natalie’s life will be held at First Presbyterian Church in Boulder at two o’clock in the afternoon on Thursday October 12, 2017. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Boulder Valley Humane Society, Longmont Humane Society, the Birds of Prey Foundation, Greenwood Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Boulder County, Best Friends Animal Society Kanab, Utah, and the Music Department of First Presbyterian Church Boulder, Colorado.

By |October 6th, 2017|

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