Theodore Kenneth Bundenthal

  •  Theodore Kenneth Bundenthal

Born in East Lansing, MI on October 1, 1929

Departed on April 1, 2019 and resided in Decatur, GA

Theodore Kenneth Bundenthal, age 89, of Decatur, died Monday, April 1, 2019 at home. Born in Lansing, Michigan, Dr. Bundenthal was a modern Renaissance man and citizen of the world. After a childhood in St. Louis and rural Augusta, Missouri, Theodore attended preparatory school at St. Paul’s in Concordia, Missouri, followed by B.A. and Bachelor's of Divinity degrees from Concordia College. He furthered his extensive education with a Master’s degree in English Literature from Washington University in St. Louis while dual enrolled for a Master’s in Divinity from Concordia Seminary. He completed his PhD in Theology and in English Literature from the University of Nebraska. A linguist, theologian, professor, educator, tour facilitator, missionary and intelligence specialist, Dr. Bundenthal traveled to, lived, and studied in many locales around the globe, including China, Israel, Ecuador, Pakistan and Egypt. Closer to home, he was a Missouri Synod Lutheran minister and led churches across the United States. After he received his PhD he held positions in academia as a professor and Academic Dean at various colleges and universities. He had an active and distinguished career in the U.S. Air Force where he achieved the rank of Colonel before retirement. Theodore was deeply involved in Rotary International. He also served as community arts liaison in several different cities, where he was instrumental in bringing international orchestras, ballets, plays, and concerts to his communities. Inarguably, Theodore’s best accomplishment was marrying his wife of nearly 60 years, Eva May Dobbins, who preceded him in death in 2011. Dr. Bundenthal is survived by his five children: Cynthia McKeough of Commerce Township, MI, Christina and Charles Hatch, and Theodore Bundenthal Jr. of Irvine, CA, Tabitha and Chris Rautenstrauch of Atlanta, GA, and Thomas and Stephanie Bundenthal of Fairfield, CA. He is also survived by six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. A celebration of life will be held in Atlanta later this year. In lieu of flowers, Theodore would be honored if you smell the flowers, read, exercise and take advantage of every moment God gives you.


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Guestbook Entries

  1. Lee Tate April 17, 2019 at 10:01 am - Reply

    Dr. Bundenthal was a great man, brilliant and kind. I remember when his family lived here in Selma, AL.
    Rest In Peace

  2. Kathleen Winkler January 4, 2020 at 10:36 am - Reply

    Professor Bundenthal was my English teacher at Concordia Teacher’s College in the early 1960s. He directed me in a production of The Crucible my junior year. He was my favorite professor and I still have the wooden cross letter holder he gave to each student who took the attendance in his classes. My only regret was that he left CTC before I got to take his Shakespeare class. Kathleen Knief Winkler, BS ‘63

  3. Gene Beck April 28, 2020 at 9:30 pm - Reply

    I believe this is the same Dr. Theodore K. Bundenthal that was my English Lit Professor as a cadet at MMI, and favorite of all my College Professors to date.

  4. Donnie Coffee, Jr. May 3, 2020 at 2:09 pm - Reply

    Col. Bundenthal was a great man, achiever, and leader. I’m blessed to be able to call him a friend. Fortunate to be able to travel with him, through Rotary International, completely around the world, including Japan, Hong Kong, China, Pakistan, & Germany, He made it possible. He and he admired family were a tremendous addition to Selma and the surrounding area. Prayers and blessings being sent in their loss of theirDad, to all of his children and grandchildren.

  5. Bobby Leong July 22, 2020 at 3:31 pm - Reply

    I’ve thought of COL Bundenthal through the years. I was just going down memory lane with another Marion Military Institute alum and Googled him and came across this sad post.

    He was a great mentor and scholar. RIP

  6. Peter Loux November 7, 2020 at 1:29 pm - Reply

    Dr Theodore Bundenthal was a good friend from his days in Huntsville, Alabama. We were part of a tour of the middle east prior to y2K, getting in the temple at Hebron, and exploring parts of Isreal and Egypt that were off the beaten path. Truly an amazing person. I missed his Christmas letter signed Pax Christi. Till we meet again. Peter and Jean Loux

  7. Christopher January 29, 2021 at 9:27 pm - Reply

    Well I just saw this and couldn’t believe it. Let me just say this, arriving to a military boarding school after my parents put me in I was in my mind a complete rebel without a cause. The next day he was the first person I met. After his class he asked me to stay for a minute which turned into an hour. That seemed to be the routine for the next two years. This wonderful eloquent peaceful man taught me the greatest lesson in life. That was to take a big breath and let it out. Now let’s exercise your mind. And he would challenge me to explore many many different subject matters. He was so smart he was so gentle and kind. I have to say of all the faculty he was the one I adored the most. He had me reading all kids of books that had nothing to do with the litterateur he was teaching I had to read those too. Over those couple of years it was like a machine read it, evaluate it, process it, compartmentalize it. He gave me drive and I never heard him raise his voice once ever. That alone was so odd considering outside everyone was loud , military loud. Sad to read this tonight but so happy he had 89 years that is a long wonderful journey. I’m so glad he lead me to explore my mind and the world I lived in. What a guy !

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