August 12, 1958 – Nov. 23, 2019
Our strong, courageous husband and father passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his family in Draper, Utah.
Kent was raised by Geniel and Homer Bendixen in Holladay, Utah as the middle child in family of nine children. He enjoyed spending summers at his grandfather's farm in Levan, Utah,baling hay, helping with the tractor, and sparring with his brothers.
He was a gifted athlete, excelling in wrestling, track & field and football at Skyline High School. He went to Utah State University on a scholarship to throw the javelin, where he set many school, conference and national marks, winning the Big West individual title in 1979 and 1981.
While at Utah State, he met Cindy Vranes, the love of his life. They dated for three years and were married June 15, 1982 in Salt Lake City, Utah. They raised four children together in Cottonwood Heights. Kent worked for Smith’s Food & Drug for 30 years before his retirement.
His love of sports continued throughout his life, particularly for football. He was passionate about the Colts and their legendary quarterbacks Johnny Unitas and Peyton Manning. His intenselove of competition carried over into his annual fantasy football league with his sons and friends, which he won five times in 24 years.
If anyone knew how to rock, it was Kent! He loved to crank up the tunes whenever he could. Whether it was Neil Young, CCR, the Stones, or ACDC, Kent made sure the whole neighborhood enjoyed it right along with him.
Kent had a quick wit, always ready with a funny remark. He kept his family and friends laughing and smiling. He was especially good natured with his grandchildren, with whom he shared a mutual bond of affection that was unmatched. He played silly games with them, making them laugh and feel special like only he could. His gentle, easy way with the little ones belied the lion inside.
A true Leo, Kent was the strongest man any of us knew. He roared like a lion with a heart of gold. He would support and defend his family and friends as passionately as he approached everything in life. You always wanted to be on Kent's good side, that's for sure!
But our strong, tough Kent inherited a rare genetic condition called Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, which caused his lungs to slowly lose their function over time, limiting his independence and physical activity. In 2014 he got a new lease on life when he received two new lungs via transplant, allowing him to regain some of his ability to live an active lifestyle. He took advantage of his new lungs by spending time caring for his yard and flowers, traveling, and getting back out on the golf course.
When skin cancer developed on his head, he fought with the same tenacity we are used to from him. But his body was not able to fight it off as effectively as most people. He battled bravely with cancer for over a year and a half, enduring more than any of us thought possible, and doing it with incredible dignity and courage. Cancer never faced such a fierce competitor as Kent Bendixen!
He and his family were touched by the tremendous outpouring of love and support from all those who called, wrote, and visited in his final days.
Our hero is no longer suffering or experiencing any mortal pain. We know that he is enjoying a happy reunion with his dear mother and good friends who passed on before him. Every time we see a beautiful sunset over the Oquirrh Mountains, we'll know our angel is watching over us.
Kent was preceded in death by his mother, Geniel. He is survived by his wife, Cindy; father, Homer; four children, Brett (Midori), Kevin (Kelsey), Angie (Joe), and Nicole (Wyndham); nine grandchildren, Austin, Paizley, Dempsey, Lottie, Suzuna, Alex, Etta, Ava, and Andrew. Additionally, his passing is mourned by his eight siblings, Randy, Lewis, Trudy, Cindy, Don, Tammie, Marie, and Michael, and several beloved cousins, nieces, and nephews.
A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, November 30, 2019 from 1-3 p.m. at Cannon Mortuary, 2460 E. Bengal Blvd. (7600 S.)
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