Edward George Bellendier, age 94, of Centerville, passed away Tuesday, April 21, 2020 at MercyOne Medical Center in Centerville.
Ed was born on August 28, 1925 in Topeka, Kansas, the son of Andrew and Anna (Kisner) Bellendier. He was united in marriage to Eleanor Johnson and together, the couple celebrated many wonderful years together until her passing in 2006.
Ed was inducted into the U.S Army in November of 1943, at the age of 18 years old. He was assigned to the 328th Regiment of the 26th Division, also known as the Yankee Division, where he served as a combat infantry rifleman.
From September 1944 until March 1945, he participated in the campaigns of Normandy and Northern France. Ed left the U.S on August 26th and landed at Utah Beach on September 7th. His regiment was based in the town of Valognes in Normandy. A short distance from the strategic port of Cherbourg. Early October, the 26th Division was ordered from Normandy to General Patton’s Third Army front in Lorraine in north-eastern France. For weeks, Ed’s regiment cleared up forests (Moncourt, Bride) and fought to capture villages (Bezange la Petite, Vic sur Seille, Guinzeling, Wuisse, Vittersbourg).
On November 27, as his regiment was getting ready to launch an assault on the village of Honskirch, the last line before the Saar River, Ed was shot in the chest. He had to be evacuated to England to be hospitalized before returning to the United States. He was discharged from the US army in June 1945 as a disabled veteran.
Ed received prestigious distinctions including: the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart and the European-African-Middle-Eastern Theater Service Medal with two bronze stars, and most recently, on October 26, 2019, Consul General Guillaume Lacroix awarded the French Legion of Honor to Ed for his heroic actions during WWII. This award was created by Napoléon Bonaparte in 1802. The Legion is the highest order of merit in France, and can be presented to members of the military and civilians.
Ed spent most of his working life in the aviation industry as a machinist with Douglas Aircraft in Long Beach, California.
Ed enjoyed many hobbies throughout his lifetime. In his younger years, he was an avid golfer. Later in life, he spent countless hours playing pool.
He was also a member of numerous groups, including the VFW, the Elks Lodge, and the American Legion. Ed was also an active attendee of the St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Centerville.
He is survived by his sister, Fran Wendling of Independence, Iowa; several nieces and nephews; as well as many other family members.
Ed was preceded in death by his wife, Eleanor Bellendier; his parents, Andrew and Anna Bellendier; as well as three brothers and three sisters.
According to Ed’s wishes, cremation has been accorded. Celebration of Life Services will be held at a later date at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Centerville, once the Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted. A memorial has been established to St. Mary’s Catholic Church of Centerville and may be mailed to Lange Funeral Home and Crematory, 1900 S. 18th St., Centerville, Iowa, 52544. Condolences may be shared online at www.langefh.com.
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