Colonel Donald Halley Bentzen, Jr., United States Army Reserve (Ret), 85, passed away at Spirit Mountain Hospice House in Cody on Friday, May 13, 2022.
He was born March 12, 1937, in Sheridan.
Don graduated from high school in Bozeman, and then received his bachelor’s degree from Eastern Montana College in Billings. He received his Basic Airborne training as an Army Reserve 2nd Lieutenant in 1958 at Fort Benning, Ga.
He continued to serve our nation in the National Guard and Army Reserve, culminating in service at the Pentagon. He was exceptionally proud of his service as a Special Forces officer. Don received the Master Parachute Badge, the Army Commendation Medal and Meritorious Service Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster).
Upon his return to Cody, he helped lead the Cowboy Chapter of the Special Forces Association.
As a young man, Don also worked for Husky Oil as a sales representative.
Don married Carolyn Crawford on Aug. 28, 1965. The two lived in Montana, North Carolina, Virginia, South Carolina and Wyoming. They especially enjoyed their cabin on Moss Creek in the Shoshone National Forest.
Don was a scratch golfer who made his own clubs and had an inventory of several thousand balls upon his death. He was a natural fisherman.
He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Carolyn Bentzen of Cody, sisters Judee Moors (Fred) and Lois Niklas (David), and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents Donald Halley Bentzen, Sr. and Doris Roys Bentzen as well as his two brothers Paul and Robert Bentzen.
Don will be interred in Bozeman at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to either the Wounded Warrior Project (woundedwarriorproject.org) or the Cody United Methodist Church, 1405 Beck Ave., Cody, WY, 82414.
Please sign the online family registry at Ballardfh.com.