Dr. Michael H.J. Bense

February 27, 1947 to December 12, 2017


Dr. Michael Heinrich Johan Bense left the world way too soon on December 12, 2017.  Mike was born in South Africa 70 years ago and relocated to Newfoundland in 1971 after graduating from medical school at the University of Pretoria.  In 1972 he married Sharon and had three wonderful children, Christine, Allison and Jonathan. He spent his career working as an ophthalmologist and pioneered laser eye surgery in Eastern Canada. He was a proud South African, a talented surgeon, a determined entrepreneur and a true intellectual.  He will be dearly missed by his loving family and will always be forever in their hearts.  Predeceased by his parents, Oscar Bense and Christine (Roberts) and his sister, Hilda Potgieter.

He leaves behind with loving memories his dearly beloved wife and best friend, Sharon (Burke); his daughters, Christine (Megan) and Allison; his son, Jonathan (Alexandra); and the light of his life his five grandchildren, Liam, Niall and Keir Bense and Olivia and Greyson Bense-Hibbs; sister, Ina Van Tonder in South Africa; and his brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law who he so adored, Marilyn (Pat) Murphy, Wayne (Bernie) Burke, Valerie (Clarence) Hollett, Grant (Bonny) Burke, Janine (Doug) Fraser, Tanya (Jay) Moore and a number of nieces and nephews.

Special thanks to the staff of Dr. H. Bliss Murphy and especially to Dr. Dawn Armstrong and Dr. Andrew Hutton for their genuine, loving care.

Cremation has taken place. At the family’s request, there will be no visitation. Funeral service will be held at St. Pius X Church, Smithville Crescent on Monday, December 18, 2017 at 1:15 pm with a private inurnment to follow.  In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Daffodil Place or to Dr. H. Bliss Murphy Cancer Centre.








1:15pm, Monday December 18th

St. Pius X Church, Smithville Cres.

Private Inurnment to Follow


Leave a Condolence

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Sharon & Family,
I was shocked today when I read of Mike’s Passing. My heart goes out to you at this sad time. I have many great memories of Mike beginning with my cottage hospital rotation in Springdale back in 1978 and later with our common interest in lasers and aesthetics. I will miss him.

Hello Sharon
So sorry to hear. May he rest in peace

Sharon & family,,
So very, very sorry to hear of Mike’s passing. Mike was truly a person that could so positively impact a person for the rest of their lives.

Hi my name is Cathy and I was a patient of his. He had a very gentle demeanor about him. I wanted to send my deepest condolences to Dr. Bense family.

We are so sad to hear about this loss. I’m sure you are missing this wonderful man. He was a great doctor… always professional and always smiling. He saved my eyesight and my family and I feel indebted to him. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

Sharon & Family, please accept our sincere condolences on the passing of your loved one.

Sharon, Christine, Allison & Jonathan,

There are no words to express the sorrow I felt when I learned of Mike’s passing last week. Our families were so close for many years and the times we shared together, even after you left Springdale, make up some of my best childhood & early teenage memories.

Know that we are holding you and your whole family close in our thoughts and prayers!

Love & condolences to you all,
Nadra, Jon, Benjamin & Sabrina

Sharon, Christine, Allison, Jonathan and Families,

Clyde and I were so shocked when you gave us the news of Mike’s passing. Our memories we have of you all while living in Springdale will never be forgotten.

Our thoughts and prayers are with you all!
Shirley & Clyde

Sharon and family, our thoughts are with you and we are sending our sincere sympathy on Mike’s death.
I remember fondly your years in Springdale when the children were small, and Jill’s spending time with you in Halifax one year when our girls were involved in ringettes.
I saw Mike at his clinic for many years and I especially remember how proud he was when Christine and her partner were having their first child. Each time we met, we’d exchange news of family. He loved you all dearly and I know that he will be sorely missed by all of you.
Sheilah Mackinnon Drover and John Drover

Dear Sharon and family. Sending my deepest condolences. So many many people I know spoke fondly of Mike as a surgeon and as a family man.

Thinking of you,

Louise Prowse Mercer

Our late mom(Regina Coady)was a patient of Dr.Bense for many,many years.She had great faith in his ability to help her.
He was always considerate of her age and always helped to make life easier for her.
So on this most difficult of days we would like to say Thank you Dr Bense and may God bless you and your family
Mona (Coady) King

Sharon and family, we were so sad to learn of Mike’s illness and passing. Our sincere condolences to you all. May warm memories sustain you at this difficult time.

We have beautiful memories to cherish of many wonderful times spent together. In addition to his medical expertise, Mike was a caring and generous friend – gone far too soon after a valiant fight. Mike, you will be missed.
We know your hearts are breaking Sharon. Christine, Alison and Jonathan. Know that you’re loved.
Paul and Cynthia

My sincere condolences to the family. Dr. Bense was a remarkable man who showed such dedication and devotion to his patients. I was so deeply saddened to hear of his illness and devastated to hear of his passing. We have all lost a wonderful person. May he rest in peace

Sharon & Family,
Kathy and I send our deepest sympathies on the passing
of Michael.
God Bless.
Douglas and Kathryn Mason

Sharon, Sending warm and caring thoughts and our very deepest sympathy to you and your dear family.

Jon & Family,

We are thinking of you at this very difficult time. I’ve heard so many wonderful things about your dad over the years and it’s obvious why you have such a loving family. Your dad has changed the lives of so many people, both professionally and personally, and you will help carry on his amazing legacy.

All our best,

Bean & Scott

We were both so saddened to hear of Mike’s passing. Our thoughts are with you, Christine, Allison, Jonathon and all the family.
We have many memories of Mike but the one we always talk about is at the country when Mike introduced us to a “young buck”. We’ve passed this on over the years and we will most definitely have one in his memory.
Thinking of you my friend,
Geri and Eli

I am so sorry to hear of Dr. Bense’s passing, he was such a wonderful man and great surgeon. My sincere condolences to all the family. My thoughts and prayers are with you all at this very difficult time. May God Bless you.

I met Dr Bense at his clinic with such professionalism and a great sense of humour! I am so sorry to hear of your great loss, my sincere condolences to all the family.

My Condolences to all Dr. Bense’s family and loved ones.

I was so sorry to hear of my former professor’s rapid illness and passing…
As a MUN Med Grad Class 1991,I have fond memories of going into the OR with Dr Bense to witness my first eye surgeries and to see his amazing skill.He was also a wonderful consultant for eye care to my patients for many years .
To his family I offer profound condolences
God Bless everyone during this difficult time.

Sharon and Family Our thoughts and prayers have been with you all these past few months We are so sorry to hear the passing of Mike We have some wonderful fun memories around the dinner table in Deer Park He was way to young having so much to offer to life and his profession Our love to each one of you Stay strong and hold on to all the wonderful years with him. Our very Deepest Sympathy. Joe and Rosa Butler

Jonathan, we were so sorry to hear about your father’s death. You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers. Noreen and Harold Press

I was a patient of Dr Bense for over 30 years. He was a great guy who provided me with attentive eye care. So sad to hear of his way to early passing

My sincere condolences to the family of Dr. Bense. I was a patient of his for a number of years. Always looked forward to my visits. He was such a nice man.

Alison, I am so so sorry to hear of your dad’s passing. Please accept my sincere condolences to you and all your family. Keeping you in my heart and sending comforting thoughts.

I met Dr. Bense in Springdale, when he was a GP there,in 1976 I was a Drug Rep. He was a true gentleman. When he opened his Eye Clinic, my Mom became a patient of his. Though she passed 19 years ago,I can still recall how she looked forward to her visits to his Office. A fine man!

To Shoron, Christine, Allison and Jonathan, I am so sorry to hear of Mike’s passing. I will always cherish the wonderful memories I have with you all.You are all in my thoughts and prayers as you go through this difficult time. Hugs to all. Love a Peg and Susanne

In appreciation of the life, service and legacy of Dr Bense. I was his patient for many years and credit him with keeping my sight focused. I will miss my annual visit. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.

Sharon and family, we are so sad to hear of Mike’s passing. Our friendship goes back 45 plus years and although in recent years we have been separated by the Gulf we have managed to keep in touch over the years. We have fond memories of general practice days in Springdale and the townhouse we shared in Halifax. Be assured of our thoughts and prayers at this sad time but may precious memories keep him ever close. XXOO

I am deeply sorry to hear of Mikes passing. My hugs and condolences to you and your family.
Alyson Vardy

Jon and family, my deepest condolences. To this day, I still think of your dad when I hear someone whistling off in the distance. My thoughts are with you.

Sharon and family,
Our deepest sympathy to you all. Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this very difficult time.

I was so sad to hear of Dr. Bense’s passing. I was a patient of his for many years and will miss him greatly. My condolences to his family.

Peter and I are saddened to hear of Mike’s passing . Condolences to all of you at this very difficult time .

Condolences to the family ! Dr. Bense was my doctor for a number he was well respected was will surly be missed!

I am so saddened to hear this news. Dr. Bense was an incredible surgeon who helped improve my vision. His gentle manner and kindness will never be forgotten. My deepest sympathy to his family. May your memories help you with the difficult days ahead.

Sincere sympathy to Dr. Bense’s Family. I am so sad to hear of his passing. I was a patient of Dr. Bense for many years and he was wonderful. I miss him already.

To The Family

Sorry for loss. I was a patient of Dr Bense for 22 years,
he will be greatly missed.

Trina and myself are so sorry to hear about the passing of Mike and our thoughts and prays go out to all the family and friends. My fondest memories with Mike was shooting at Kelsey’s Range on Kenmount Road all those years ago along with Pat, he’d show up usually with a new toy to show everyone and always was smiling. Our deepest condolences.

It was such a pleasure to get to know Dr. Bense and the great team at his practice. He had such a joy for life. I will always have fond memories of time spent with him in surgery, at fund raisers, at ophthalmic conferences where he always had time to chat and catch up. Truly a special person. He will now be resting in paradise.
All my best,

Our Prayers and thoughts with you and your children Sharon.

To Sharon and family,

We are sorry to hear of the passing of your husband, Mike. Our thoughts and. prayers are with you at this time.

Bev and Lorne Thompson

Sharon and family,
My thoughts and prayers are with you as you mourn the passing of Doctor Bense. He was a very capable caring person.
With sympathy,
Frances Kenny

Allison, Megan, Christine, Jonathan & Mrs. Bense, I am so very sorry to hear about Dr. Bense’s passing. My deepest condolences to you all.

So so sad to hear of Dr. Bense passing. . I truly appreciated him both as a surgeon and a person. Only had the pleasure of meeting him a few times in a formal setting however he always impressed me leaving me with a good feeling. .God s Speed to his loved ones.

Sharon and family.
So very sorry to hear of Michaels passing. I had the pleasure of working with him when he opened his clinic on Elizabeth avenue.
Sincerest condolences.
Jayne Luscombe

I’m so very sorry to hear of the passing of dear “Dr. B.” as I called him. I’ve been a patient for well over ten years and he will be greatly missed by me, and all those whose lives he touched. He was a pioneer in our community. All my best to his family and loved ones.

So sorry to hear of Mike’s passing. My thoughts and
prayers go out to you and your family. H e will be sadly missed by all.

Sorry to hear of Dr. Bense passing. I have been a patient of his close to 20 years.. He was such a great man, kind and funny. He will be missed.

So sorry to hear of Dr Bense passing. My deepest condolences to Alison and her family.

So sorry to hear this sad news. He was a very kind and gentle man I was a patient of his for the last 26 years. My heart goes out the family at this time of sorrow stay strong 💐

God bless you all an accept our prayers at this time! You will be missed

My deepest sympathy Christine. Thinking of you and all of your family at this time.


Sincere condolences to the family of Dr.Michael Bense and to his dedicated staff on his passing. My husband was a patient of Dr.Bense for many, many years and to him he was a “miracle man”
He was always accessible, friendly, a very caring doctor, and a gentleman. He will never be forgotten.

so sorry I am thinking of you all god bless you all pansy noseworthy

Prayers and thoughts with you and your children Sharon. Please offer condolences to Bernie and Wayne. God bless. Margaret Byrne Sullivan.

Deepest condolences to Christine and Allison and and families, neither of you have ever been forgotten since leaving Springdale, you are in our thoughts and prayers at this difficult time,

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Bense family today. A kind, gentle soul who cared for my father for many years! Rest easy Dr Bense!

Good Morning My family

I will miss you uncle Ben, I started planning my trip to come visit you next year and now you have left us. You are a wonderful person with a beautiful heart even though I haven’t seen you sins I was a little girl I remember all the fun and joy you had visiting us in South-Africa. You are in a better place smiling down on us and being our guardian angel I love you uncle Ben till we meet again….
From Joané van Tonder

We are so sorry for you loss Dr.
Bense was a wonderful man and was so good to Don. We send our deepest sympathy to the entire family.
From Don and Olive Gough

Sending sincere condolences to the Bense family. He was the best. In 1987 our son detached his retina playing sports in the school gym. Dr Bense did surgery not once, but twice to reattach the retina. In following up on the procedures, Dr Bense discovered that our son had other issues with his eyes that had not been detected before. …. I was referred to Dr Bense & have seen him for the past four years. My problem has been resolved . Thank you Dr Bense from both my son & I……You have left us way too soon. RIP.

I learned today of the passing of a doctor to whom I owe a lot. I became a patient of Dr. Michael Bense in the 1980s after being diagnosed in the 1970s with acute Keratoconus. I saw Dr. Bense probably hundreds of times, and in 1998 he preformed a corneal transplant on my right eye. In recent years Dr. Bense (after discontinuing to do the procedure himself) arranged to have me placed on a waiting list for a similar procedure in my left eye, a waiting list I am on today. I was told at age 18 I would probably be blind by the time I hit 30, but thanks to Dr. Bense I am still functioning, albeit on one eye, into my 60s. It will be my honour to make a donation to Daffodil House in his memory.

I am so sad at hearing this terrible news. Dr. Bense helped so many people and will be terribly missed by all. He was such a professional and so talented. My prayers go out to his lovely family and to his beautiful staff! He was a gentle and kind man and I know how highly you all thought of him! My god bless you all.

Deepest condolences of the passing of Dr Bense to his family.

So sorry to hear of the passing of Dr. Bense. I am one of his many eye lasik patients whom he gave back the gift of sight. His gentle spirit and calm demeanor really put your mind at ease. He will be greatly missed. Sincere condolences.

Deepest sympathy to the family of Dr bense he was a very kind man I was a patient of his for three years

So sorry to hear the passing of Dr Bense..He was our family eye dr for years..it is with sadness that we have heard the news of his passing..I always asked him when and if he was going anywhere particular everytime we would visit..we’d always have a little chat about that…his career took him places beyond..I’m sure he will be sadly missed..and to his staff there are no words to describe the loss of not only your employer but your friend..to Dr, Bense’s entire family may you find comfort to know that Dr Bense has helped so many people during his most devoted career..his legacy will certainly live forever..RIP..

I remember the time immediately after my eye laser surgery. I drove to Dr. Bense for the post surgery appointment without my contact lenses, I could not believe what he had done, I had my full vision back. It was a very emotional moment and I will never for get the doctor that made this possible. Thank you very much Dr. Bense. I am sure you made a difference for thousands of individuals.

It was with a great deal of sadness to hear of Mike’s passing.. It was only tonight at my grandson Liam’s birthday party that we talked about Mike and your time in Springdale !

Although it has been many years and many different roads travelled since we last met, I will always remember Mike for the kindness and true friendship he extended to our family.
My condolences and best wishes are extended to Sharon and family at this sad time,


So sorry to hear this sad news. He will be missed. My condolences to the family.

Sharon and family
So so sorry for your loss and words seem so i significamt at a time like this but rest assured he will be missed by so many. Our condelences and love
Marge & Carl Gaulton

Dr. Bense gave me my vision back and for that I am eternally grateful. He was so kind, caring and professional which makes his passing so hard to believe. To his family: my most sincere condolences to you all. I will never forget you Dr. Bense. Sincerely, Rachael

RIP Dr. Bense, You were our miracle worker, you went above and beyond for us when our son Travis had his eye problem, when Doctors in Halifax and Ottawa were not able to diagnose him, you did research on your off time and figured out what the issue was and for that we are forever thankful. You were always only a phone call away and you wouldn’t hesitate to see us on Saturdays and Sundays, it never mattered where you were, you put us first, You always were so positive that he would get better and thanks to you he has fully recovered and for that we are forever grateful, Our thoughts are with your family at this difficult time. We will never forget you

Very sad to read of Dr Bense passing. I am so greatful for the laser surgery that he did for me and saved me from very poor eyesight to perfect vision. I never dreamed when i was young that I would ever be able to see so clearly. I have said “Thank you Dr Bense” many times over the last 20 years e.g. when I have hit a rare good golf shot and could see the ball flight and landing, my buddies have heard it many times. I should have said it more often to Dr. Bense. Now I can only say to his family, “Thank God for Dr Bense and my deepest condolences.”

We are deeply saddened by the passing of Dr Bense. My husband was a patient many years ago and he did a wonderful job to restore the sight that He continues to cherish to this day.
Thank you Dr Bense

Howard & Jean Coates

So sad to hear of Dr. Bense passing.Our condolences go out to all of his family.He was Leo’s doctor for many years.An excellent and caring doctor and a perfect gentleman at all times He will be missed. Leo and Eva Linehan.

We are all so sorry to know that Mike has passed away. I will always remember his happy whistling in the early morning. He was my alarm clock for many years. Mike was a very happy and content man. You are all in our thoughts and prayers.

So sad. My mom was a patient of dr. Bense. He was very good and kind. So sorry for the loss of a wonderful man.

So sorry to hear of the passing of your loved one
He was a great doctor and neighbor when he lived on fosters road ,may God give you comfort in the days ahead ,please except our thoughts and prayers
Violet Rowsell

So very sorry for your loss, myself and Brenda were both patients of Dr. Bense. He made a difference to a great many people in his practice. Brilliant doctor, taken too early, RIP Dr. Bense

What sad news to hear of Mike’s passing. He will certainly be remembered as a wonderful surgeon and entrepreneur, but above all as a loving father and family man. He leaves behind an amazing legacy both professionally and in his beautiful family. Our thoughts are with you all.

I am so sorry to read this today he was my eye Dr but was also my Friend he cared and showed great concern about my eyes this is so sad one off the Best for sure good night here to a great Dr and Friends but it’s good morning up their

To live in the hearts off those you love is not to die !!

Sincere and deepest condolences to all of the family . He was an amazing mentor , teacher , and Doctor who always displayed his deepest love for his family . I have so much respect , admiration and love for this wonderful man and his family . Thoughts and prayers are with you all . Sending much love .

Sharon. Sandra and I were shocked and saddened today with the news of Mike’s passing. Many great memories of our General Practice days in Springdale. Please accept our condolences!

Very sorry for your loss. My condolences to his Family and friends. To his family, I will say this, When I went to see him just over 8 years ago, he saved me from a great deal of pain and straightened out the issues I was having with my eye almost immediately. Without his help, I may well have lost the quality of vision I have today and I certainly would have spent quite a bit of time in an incredible amount of pain. It appears he helped very many people over the years. I expect you are very proud of him, as you should be. He may have been taken too early, but celebrate his life. He made a difference to a great many.

We are very saddened to hear about the death of Michael. It was always a pleasure to hear him talk about his latest professional endeavours. He will be sadly missed by the Eye Care community.
Condolences to the Bense family.

So sorry for your loss. My condolences to Dr. Bense’s family and friends.

Condolences to Dr. Bense’s family, I was a patient of his the last 8 years, RIP Dr. Bense.

So very sorry for your loss. I was a patient of Dr. Bense for many years and he surely will be missed…a brilliant doctor.