Cecil Roy “Cec” Bendle has told his final story.
Cec died on Aug 23, 2019 at the age of 72 in Prince Albert. In his lifetime, Cec had more jobs than we can remember, less adventures than he desired, more abilities than you’d believe, and knew more people than you’d ever imagine.
Cec seemed to know someone wherever he was. He was a fascinating conversationalist, a farrier, a philosopher, a bushman, a preacher, an amazing cook, a drinker, a reader, and a thinker. He acted, wrote prose and poetry, had painted and done pottery, and his skill with knitting needles was amazing. He tended to procrastinate, was stoic, and some thought him lazy, but inside that unassuming package was the most intelligent man, loving dad, caring grandpa, keeper of knowledge, and giver of kindnesses imaginable. Cec underestimated his abilities, but he could be counted on to go out of his way to help others. He donated his time and skills whenever possible, and took in all kinds of abandoned animals as well. He was dignified and humble, and enjoyed sharing his irreplaceable wealth of knowledge with anyone who asked.
Known as a top-notch farrier, Cec specialized in speed horses, but worked with anything from miniatures to Belgians. He was proud of being recruited as the farrier for the Lipizzaner’s, and to have shod at tracks from Ontario to San Antonio. But the home farm was his base and he never left for long, whether he was in forestry, surveying, mining, farrier work, consulting, construction, or maintenance. His farm, called “The Diamond U C”, was cobbled together with baler twine and hard work, and didn’t pay much, but it was his. He delighted in reviving old-school practices in honor of his father, Carl Bendle, who passed away when Cec was 11. Cec and his mom, Willa, kept their “hardscrabble” farm, and it is where he lived at his passing.
Cec was a passionate man in all areas of life, and a hobby easily became an obsession. After his first marriage to Velma Young that ended because “we were both too young”, he didn’t find Cathy until he was 39. Last month they celebrated their 31st anniversary. Although he could be grumpy, we all knew how loved we were, and that his love would never leave us. He was as stubborn in his love as in every other part of his life.
Cecil was incredibly proud of his kids. Marina and Andrew were the apples of his eye, but when his only grandchild, Augustus (Gus) Friesen was born two years ago he fell even deeper in love. He glowed when discussing his children’s intelligence and abilities, and adored Gus with his whole being. He was also very proud and supportive of Cathy. Even though he had a hard time expressing it sometimes, it was obvious in how he looked at and spoke of her.
No matter what role he was in, Cec is remembered for his long, slooooow, fascinating stories. For decades we urged him to write them down, but few reached paper. The world has lost a rich reservoir of history, knowledge, and humour with his unexpected demise.
Cecil was predeceased by his father, Carl Bendle; mother, Wilhelmina (Willa) Sinclair Fraser Bendle; brother-in-law, Bob Olsen; sister, Gladys Olsen; and sister, Marie (Walter) Adams. He is survived by his wife, Cathy (nee Borrowman) Bendle, daughter, Marina (Brendan) Friesen, son, Andrew Bendle, and grandson, Augustus (Gus) Friesen, as well as his nephews, Wesley and Les Adams and niece, Sandra (Blaine Millis) Adams and their families, and many, many friends.
We will be saying goodbye to this complex man at a Memorial Service at the MacDowall Lion’s Hall, MacDowall, SK, on Friday, August 30, 2019, at 10 am. There will be a lunch, followed by his urn being taken to Deer Park Cemetery by horse-drawn wagon. Anyone who wishes to join the ride with their own horses, or by vehicle, is welcome to do so.
In honor of how he lived, we are asking people to perform anonymous acts of kindness in Cecil’s spirit, especially in helping a child or a youth group. If you wish to give flowers, we ask that you give perennial flowers that can be planted in his honor. We also thank Beau Lac Funeral home for their personable, kind service in making the arrangements for Cecil. Family and friends wishing to send online condolences are welcome to visit www.beaulacfuneralhome.com. Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of Beau “Lac” Funeral Home, Tracy-Lynn Lenchuk, Funeral Director, Prince Albert, SK 306-763-3322.