— Don Bendel
Don was born in LaCrosse, WI in 1935 to Victor and Farrell. He served in the Navy and graduated with various degrees from Winona State College, the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and ASU.
In 1956, Don married his high school sweetheart, Ann in LaCrosse. They had three children.
Don began teaching at NAU in 1970. In 1984, he brought Dr. Yukio Yamamoto to NAU. This resulted in construction of the two Tozan kilns at NAU, which he began building without permission. Don’s art and teachings took him around the world, and his pieces can be found in collections in many countries.
After “retiring” in 2000, Don also taught part time at CCC, supported local artists, attended his longtime congregation, Peace Lutheran Church, ate ice cream with his family, was a friend of the crows, and overall was “pretty good alright”.
Obituary sourced from the Arizona Daily Sun: here