Col Bernard H Benkel, USAF Ret, passed away on May 13th, 2023. Bernie Benkel’s distinguished military career as a board certified Endodontist, spanned over thirty years, with multiple tours of duty across the US, Japan and the United Kingdom. His career culminated as Base Dental Surgeon and interim Hospital Commander of Mather AFB, awarded the Legion of Merit in addition to four Meritorious Service Medals and two Distinguished Presidential Unit Citations. Bernie was preceded in death by his adoring daughter, Laurie Israel. He is survived by Patty, his beloved wife of 63 years, sons, Brian and Michael, six grandsons, Nat, Josh, Ethan, Liam, Blake, Connor and great grandson, Sammy. Bernie traveled the globe with his family sharing his amazing spirit and energy with everyone he met. His quick wit and charm were his hallmark. In retirement, Bernie and Patty organized exciting trips with their large circle of friends, to every corner of the globe. He was an avid photographer and, over his 88 years, participated in a wide variety of outdoor adventures including skiing, cycling, camping and automotive rallies. Bernie was an active member of the community and shared the organizational skills he developed at NYU, Columbia University, Tufts University and as an Adjunct Professor at University of the Pacific, serving on the boards of many local groups. Bernie was loved by family and friends and his passing is a great loss for all. A Graveside service will be held on Friday, June 2, 2023 at The Sacramento Valley National Cemetery (5810 Midway Road, Dixon, CA) at 12:00pm. A reception will follow the graveside service at The Samuelson’s Home, 2038 Essex Mine Court Gold River, CA 95670 Time: 1430-1700 Friday, 2 June 2023.
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