Sandra Bengtson, 82

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    Middle River – Sandra Bengtson of Middle River, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, October 17, 2017 at Sanford Medical Center in Thief River Falls, with her loving family by her side.
    Funeral services were held on Saturday, October 21, 2017 at First Lutheran Church in Middle River.  Interment followed at First Lutheran Cemetery in Middle River.
    Sandra (Searle) Bengtson, the daughter of Wellington Clark Searle and Myrtle Marie (Gullikson) Searle, was born on April 18, 1935 at home in Middle River. She was baptized and confirmed at First Lutheran Church in Middle River.  Sandra attended school and graduated from Middle River High School in 1953.
    On March 15, 1954, Sandra was united in marriage to Leonard Wallace Bengtson at the house in which they made their home. Over the years, Len and Sandra were inseparable, united in their devotion to each other, the family and the farm. Blessed with a truly deep and abiding love, Sandra continued to feel Len's comfort and support even after he had passed.  They had four children:  Wallace (Pidgy), Monica, Tamra (Tami) and Steven.
    Sandra's greatest enjoyment was her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She whole-heartedly embraced the interests, activities and events in their lives. As each child followed their own pursuits, so did Sandra, immersing herself in every competition and recital.  Their teams were HER teams, and she was fiercely loyal to each and every one.
    A committed member of First Lutheran Church in Middle River, Sandra participated in multiple activities: head of Ladies Aid, Sunday School teacher, Bible studies, preparing and serving food.  She was determined that the Church would be a constant, thriving presence in the community.
    In addition to a lifetime of caring for her parents and family, Sandra worked at Middle River School for 22 years. She had a positive and loving impact on each child she came across. She continued to hear from countless children throughout the years, well into their adulthood.  Her relationship with her co-workers established many long-lasting friendships based on admiration and dedication.    
    Sandra is survived by her children, Wallace (Bonnie) Bengtson of Middle River, Monica (Dan) Carlson of Litchfield, Tamra (Jim) Pautzke of Middle River, and Steven (Jackie) Bengtson of Warroad; grandchildren, Alexis (Tim) Dion of Phoenix, AZ, Michael (Jennifer) Bengtson of Brandon, Christopher (Whitney) Bengtson of Middle River, Josh (Brittany) Carlson of Litchfield, Megan (Elliot Randle) Carlson of St. Cloud, Andrew (Hillary) Pautzke of Litchfield, Katelyn Pautzke of Middle River, Benjamin (Amanda) Bengtson of Hermantown, and Jordan Bengtson of Minneapolis; great-grandchildren, Rielly, Addison, and Isaac Day, Lilly and Zach Vick, Keryn Bengtson, Vaeda Bengtson, and Jacie Carlson; nephews, Clark Searle Jr., of Winnipeg, MB, and Robert Searle of Thunder Bay, ON; niece, Val Searle of Winnipeg, MB; brothers-in-law, Lloyd Bengtson of Newfolden, and Vernon (Lois) Bengtson of Newfolden; sister-in-law, Darleen Chapman of Newfolden; cousin/sister, Sally Gentry of Middle River; and numerous other nieces, nephews, relatives, and friends.
    Sandra is preceded in death by her husband, Leonard; her parents, W.C. and Myrtle; brother, Clark Searle; nephew, Paul Searle; brothers-in-law, Arnold Bengtson, Ray Chapman, and Norman Ueland; sisters-in-law, Bernice Ueland, Leanna Bengtson, and Maureen Searle.