Jenell Johnson Bendall was born to David and Nellie (Gilman) Johnson in Wilmar, California on May 12, 1936. She had an older brother, Larry. They grew up in the same house until they both left home as adults. Her parents took them on the many adventures that Southern California had to offer.
Her Father made sure both children were involved in music, Jenell was given piano lessons. Music became a major part of her life through school, into college at Brigham Young University, and the rest of her life.
She married her Marine, Thomas Bendall at the Wee Kirk of the Heather Chapel in Las Vegas, and then he promptly went back to Alaska and she went back to her parents home. A few months later, after his time in Alaska was over they were sealed for time and eternity in the Los Angeles Temple shortly after it was dedicated.
The Marine Corps took Jenell and Tom and their growing family to North Carolina, Chula Vista CA, Oceanside CA, Barstow CA, and Hawaii. Jenell took the children back to Utah when Tom was in Vietnam and Okinawa. They retired to Orem, Utah. Tom and Jenell moved into Treeo Orem a few years ago, Tom passed away soon after.
Throughout their married life, Jenell was in leadership positions in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; but mostly in Primary or music. She loved the Primary, and especially doing music in Primary. She participated in Utah Valley Chorale Society for many years. She attended plays and concerts with her nephew and fellow cultural arts lover, Ron Johnson. Education Week at BYU was her yearly adventure, eventually going from attendee to Hostess. She would attend Ed Week with her daughters, daughters-in-law, and grandchildren. Many of their friends from Barstow had moved to Utah over the years, and they began a monthly “Barstow Bunch” and Jenell and Tom loved these meet-ups.
Tom and Jenell served a Temple Square Mission for many years with dear friends Allen and Myrtle Sackett. They took a break to go on a Military Mission to Pensacola, Florida. Jenell loved seeing the Tabernacle Choir every Sunday morning, and then attending church later with her daughter, Cari and her family. She loved ushering all of the events held on Temple Square or the Conference Center.
She loved to travel and would go to visit children in Alabama and Tennessee, including stays in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, and cruises with children and grandchildren. She would take ‘Girls Trips’ with her daughters and daughters-in-law to visit various Temples, Tuacahn, and one impressive trip to Hawaii. She and Tom would take impromptu trips in their truck and camp out in the back of the truck. They also took everyone camping to the Grand Canyon and later to the Territorial Statehouse State Park in Fillmore, Utah. Her children took Tom and Jenell on an Alaskan Cruise to fulfill Tom’s promise to her that he wanted her to see Alaska.
The most important thing in Jenell’s life was her family. The Family Christmas Parties were her great love and she worked hard on them until her granddaughter, Vickie Burt, took it over from her in her later years. Then, daughters-in-law, Kathy Bendall and Kim Bendall began to assist. This year, her son Larry, and his daughter-in-law, Mecaela have taken over. The party will have a slightly different feel, but Jenell can be reassured that these parties that were so important to her will still happen.
Jenell is survived by her children, Jana Petrossi, Kirk (Carolyn) Bendall, Larry (Lorie) Bendall, Tami (Mark) Tate, Cari (Brian) Larson, Todd (Kathy) Bendall, and Rick (Kim) Bendall; 28 grandchildren; 56 great grandchildren with 2 on the way; and 3 great-great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband, Tom; her parents; her brother; and a great-grandchild Kynzee Petrossi.
Funeral services will be held on Thursday, November 30, 2023 at 11 a.m. at the Orem 1st Ward Chapel, 80 South 280 East. Friends may visit with family on Thursday from 9 to 10:30 a.m. at the church. Interment, Utah Veterans Cemetery and Memorial Park, 17111 1700 West, Bluffdale, Utah