|Birth: ||Jul. 13, 1916|
|Death: ||Mar. 2, 2005|
Mary Ellen Logan Bendtsen graced the cover of Cosmopolitan and was a John Robert Powers model. She played the piano for composer Cole Porter at his New York penthouse and President Harry S. Truman at the Adolphus Hotel in Dallas.
When she was 16 years old, she was the inspiration for six Fair Park statues created for the 1936 Texas centennial.
Mrs. Bendtsen, 88, died March 2 of complications from a stroke at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas. A private memorial service will be in Dallas in early July.
Mrs. Bendtsen lived an interesting life, which she often embellished, said her daughter, Frances Ann Giron of Plano.
"Mother was very vivacious, and she was very outgoing," Mrs. Giron said.
Neither Mrs. Bendtsen nor her friends need to augment her life story, given the facts her daughter could confirm.
Born in Blue Ridge, Minn., Mrs. Bendtsen moved with her family to Wichita Falls when she was in grade school. The family later moved to Dallas, where Mrs. Bendtsen attended Ursuline Academy.
Mrs. Bendtsen became a local celebrity in the 1930s and 1940s. Her photo frequently appeared in Dallas newspapers.
In 1934, she was selected the Spirit of Texas in the Queen Cerealia Pageant and Ceremonial at the State Fair of Texas. She held numerous other beauty titles, including Miss Liberty for the 1933 State Fair and Queen of Sports for the opening of baseball season that year.
When she was 17, she traveled to Florida as Miss Pan-American Exposition to invite that state's governor to the Greater Texas and Pan-American Exposition.
In the summer of 1948, she was social director of the Balsams Grand Resort Hotel in New Hampshire.
She was a runway and photo model in New York, where Cole Porter asked her to play the piano for his party at the Waldorf-Astoria.
Mrs. Bendtsen met her husband-to-be, Christian Bendtsen, through mutual friends in Dallas.
"Shortly after he met me, he just showered me with flowers," she said in 1993. "He told me he searched the world over for me."
In 1949, Mrs. Bendtsen's family purchased a mansion at 4949 Swiss Ave. from the Caruth family. She lived in the house the rest of her life, her daughter said. Mr. Bendtsen died in 1985.
Mrs. Bendtsen played the piano publicly in Dallas for years, often for charitable causes. She was active in the St. Paul Auxiliary, the Dallas Symphony and the Swiss Avenue Historic District, her daughter said.
In addition to her daughter, Mrs. Bendtsen is survived by her sister, Ann McClamrock of Dallas, and two grandchildren.
Memorials may be made to the Mary Ellen Bendtsen Memorial at the Swiss Avenue Historic District Association, P.O. 140998, Dallas, Texas 75214-0998.
John Miles Logan (1880 - 1972)
Frances Dee Logan (1889 - 1966)
Christian Bendtsen (1909 - 1985)*
Mary Ellen Logan Bendtsen (1916 - 2005)
Ann Adair McClamrock (1919 - 2008)*
Calvary Hill Cemetery
Plot: Section D, #83 D, Grave 2
Created by: Brent Priddy
Record added: Feb 21, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 48419445
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