Sergeant Major (Retired) Bernard (Ben) Fenske



Sergeant Major (Retired) Bernard (Ben) Fenske, 78, went to his eternal home June 20, 2009 at VA Medical Center in Minneapolis, MN. He was born July 21, 1930 to Paul and Emma (Schmidt) Fenske.

He married Sarah E. Cook on September 2nd 1949 in Franklin, KY. and later divorced after 27 years.

SGM Fenske served 22 years in Special Forces and other airborne units, serving 11 years overseas in Korea, Japan, Germany, and Laos. SGM Fenske served in the 187th Airborne Regional Combat Team during the Korean Conflict and Laos with the Special Forces during the Vietnam War. During his mitlitary career he was an avid sport parachutist as well as a military parachutist accumulating a total of 350 jumps, many at high altitude requiring oxygen tanks and masks. 45 of these jumps were at night. His military awards and decorations include the Master Parachute Badge, Halo Jump Master Badge, Army Commendation Ribbon, 7 awards of the Good Conduct Medal, Army of the Occupation (Japan), National Defense Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Korea Service Medal with 2 Champaign Stars, Armed Forces Expedtionary Medal, The Korean Presidental Unit Citation, and the United Nations SBC Medal. After retiring from the military he worked for the Burlington Northern Railroad for 13 years in Winona and LaCrosse, as a Ticket Agent and Yard Clerk. He retired in December 1982.

A Loving Family.....

Survivors include 3 sons, Richard of Nashville, TN, Larry of Winona and Roger (Robin) of West Salem, WI.

2 daugherts, Carolyn (David Konkel) of Wabasha, MN, Lori of Winona. Sister Lorraine Johnson of Winona, Brothers Ralph and Marvin (Carol) of Winona, Reuben of Rochester, MN, 19 Grandchildren and 33 Great Grandchildren.

He also leaves behind a special friend of many years, JoAnn Wieczorek of Fountain City, WI.

He is preceded in death by his parents, 4 brothers and 4 sisters.

Memorial service was held Thursday, June 25th at St. Martins Evangelical Lutheran Church 11-2 with a luncheon following.

Burial was at Fort Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis, MN Friday, June

26th 12:00PM. at area Assembly #5    I-494 and 34th Ave.Mpls,  Mn