Gordon A. Bengtson, 97

Gordon A. Bengtson, of Golden Valley, formerly of Dassel, died Tuesday at the Covenant Manor.

A memorial service will take place at a later date at the Evangelical Covenant Church in Dassel, with the interment of the urn at the Dassel Community Cemetery.

The Johnson Funeral Home in Dassel is in charge of the memorial arrangements.

Gordon A. Bengtson, the son of Oscar and Hannah (Carlson) Bengtson was born in Kandiyohi, Oct. 28, 1922, and moved with his parents and nine siblings to Dassel.

Those were tough years for the country, but Gordon had a happy childhood in a wonderful, loving family. He graduated from Dassel High School and enrolled at North Park College in Chicago, IL in 1941.

In fall 1942, he met the love of his life, fellow student, Gladys Forsberg, from Sioux City, IA. They married Aug. 27, 1944, after her graduation from North Park College and completion of Gordon’s first year of dental school at the University of Minnesota on an ROTC scholarship. Gladys worked as the secretary for the vice president of the U of M until Gordon finished school.

Gordon graduated in 1946, and set up his practice in Dassel, where his parents and several of his siblings lived. In 1952, he was recalled to active duty and served as dental officer at Air Force bases in Columbus, IN and Milwaukee, WI.

Upon release from active duty in 1954, Gordon, Gladys, and their three children (Trudy, Dennis, and Susan) returned to Dassel, where their fourth child, Jennifer, was born. Gordon continued his dental practice in Dassel until he retired in 1984. Gordon and Gladys remained in Dassel until moving to the Covenant Village in Golden Valley in 2000.

The Dassel years were focused on family, faith, and service. Dassel Evangelical Covenant Church was a constant in their lives. Gordon spent years on various local and denominational boards, including the Evangelical Covenant Church of America Executive Board and North Park College Board. Gladys, whose father, Gunnar Forsberg, was a Covenant pastor, was a mainstay in the Dassel church and served in leadership positions, as well.

Professionally, Gordon had a thriving practice, and over the years volunteered for 10 dental mission trips: five to Haiti; two to Guatemala; and one each to Peru, Ghana, Africa, and the Mideast. Gladys accompanied him on several of these trips. Gordon’s service to the dental profession was recognized in 1979, by his election to and induction in the International College of Dentists, an organization which recognizes dental professionals for conspicuous and meritorious service to the dental profession.

Gordon and Gladys loved learning about their Swedish heritage (his parents and five older siblings were immigrants as was Gladys’ father). They made 15 trips to Sweden, including trips with each of their four children, and often traveled with siblings and/or nephews and nieces. Exploring family history by walking the grounds of their ancestors, seeing family landmarks, and spending time with Swedish relatives was very important to them.

Gordon was also a lifelong fan of all Minnesota sports teams. He and Gladys were enthusiastic season ticket holders to Vikings football and Minnesota Gopher basketball for decades.

Gordon was preceded in death by Gladys (Dec. 30, 2018), his parents, and nine siblings. Gladys was preceded in death by her parents and two brothers.

They are survived by their four children: Trudy (Leonard), Dennis (Kathleen), Susan (Glenn), and Jennifer (Michael), eight grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren, and three step great-grandchildren.

© Herald Journal Publishing, Inc.