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Columbia Missourian

Restaurant owner Bernard Lensmeyer had passion for food, family

By Marine Delacroix
September 11, 2013 | 11:55 a.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Bernard Lensmeyer was passionate about food, with a talent for finding the best restaurants in a city.

He made use of his passion by opening and operating several restaurants, including Bennie's and Auburn's in Columbia and Phil E. Busters in Jefferson City.

Bernard John Lensmeyer, of Columbia, died Monday, Sept. 9, 2013. He was 77.

He was born on Apr. 24, 1936, in Sheboygan, Wis., to Bernard and Mildred Lensmeyer.

In addition to his passion for food, Mr. Lensmeyer also had a great love for his family.

"Two years ago, Bernie took the family, including all of our children and grandchildren, on a family summer vacation in northern Minnesota," said his wife, Patricia Lensmeyer, whom he married in 1981. "It was his surprise Christmas gift to us and we all had a very special time."

Mr. Lensmeyer grew up in Casper, Wyo. and served in the U.S. Army in Tokyo, Japan. He attended Casper College and later graduated from the University of Denver in Colorado.

After finishing his studies at the University of Denver, he worked in the food service industry. In 1975, he became senior vice president for American Food Management, overseeing the company's operations in 12 states.

After moving to Missouri in 1975, Mr. Lensmeyer always considered the state his home. He was a dedicated volunteer, serving on several boards. As a member of the Elks Lodge, he helped raise money for a new building, Patricia Lensmeyer said.

"He believe in leaving the world a better place than he found it and accomplished this through his volunteer work," she said.

His wife described him as a kind and generous person. 

"He had the ability to bring people together and always cared for others," Patricia Lensmeyer said.

In his leisure time, he liked to restore cars and drive them in parades. He also enjoyed reading, especially the works of Vince Flynn.

Mr. Lensmeyer is survived by his wife, Patricia (Corbin) Lensmeyer, of Columbia; his children Mark Lensmeyer of Frisco, Texas; Clay Corbin of Bloomsburg, Pa.; Kristin Leshner, of Columbia; and Rockne Corbin of Columbia.  

He is also survived by eight grandchildren.

A celebration of life will be held at 10:15 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, at the Elks Lodge, 4747 E. Elk Park Dr. The burial will be private.

Memorial contributions can be made to the Columbia Benevolent Organization, 4747 E. Elk Park Dr., Columbia, Mo., 65201.

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