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Richard Bender

June 11, 1932 ~ February 28, 2022 (age 89)

Obituary

The angels carried our beloved husband, dad, granddad and Papa, Richard “Dick” Bender, into his heavenly home on February 28th, 2022, at the age of 89. 

Even though failing health took him away from this world, his battles with many health issues over recent years showed his strong courage, faith, and deep love for family.  He faced every challenge with a smile and went through years of grueling dialysis treatments to remain with his wife and family for as long as God allowed him to. 

Dick is preceded in death by his first wife of forty-seven years, Rena Blankenship Bender; his parents, Phil and Bonnie Troxell Bender; siblings Aleta Hanville, Irma Lee Caldwell, Murlin and Mark Bender; stepchildren Richard Scott and Cyndy Crawford; two nephews, one grandniece and several brothers and sisters-in-law.

He is survived by his loving wife, Janice “Jan” Mason Scott Bender, a former high school girlfriend in Shawnee, Oklahoma, with whom he reconnected with and married in 2010.  The children will always be grateful for the love, care and devotion Jan held for their father.  She was an amazing wife, companion, and caregiver to him.

Dick is also survived by five children:  Gary (Sheila) Bender of Montgomery, Texas; Rick (Janet) Bender of Midland, Texas; Tracy (Sandra) Bender of San Antonio, Texas; Kelly (Linda) Bender of Fairfax, Virginia; and Vicky (Jay) Miller of Lake Dallas, Texas; thirteen grandchildren; two step-grandchildren; twenty-one great-grandchildren; four great-great grandchildren; nine nieces and nephews; and several sisters and brothers-in-law.

He was born in Hominy, Oklahoma, on June 11th, 1932 and grew up in Shawnee, Oklahoma.  It is a family joke that he spent more time skipping than attending school during his childhood.  He even skipped his very first day of first grade!   

Dick was a proud Korean war veteran, serving in the 45th Infantry of the U.S. Army from 1950-1952, having received several accommodations and medals including the UN Service Medal, Korean Service Medal and Bronze Service Star.  He first tried to enlist in the Army at the age of thirteen, but his parents managed to hold him off until he reached the age of seventeen!  He loved his country.

Dick’s Christian faith and church was an essential part of his life.  He was a long-time church deacon at First Baptist Church of Hobbs, New Mexico.  In earlier years, he and his wife, Rena, participated in the children’s bus ministry there and served on several of the church’s committees, including their favorite, the Glorieta Cabin Committee.  He was a strong prayer warrior and soul winner.  He wept openly for those in his circle of life who did not know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

After he married Jan in 2010, they enjoyed singing in the Jubilee choir together for as long as he was able.  He had a lovely tenor voice.  They enjoyed having breakfast with friends at McDonald’s, their Car Club, Sunday School class and playing board games with family and friends. 

Dick worked in various power producing plants as a shift manager during most of his adult life until he retired from Southwest Public Service in Hobbs, New Mexico, in 1995.  He and Rena spent most of their forty-seven years together living in Lovington and Hobbs.

He loved traveling and took his young family on vacations all over the United States in a station wagon pulling his homemade camper-trailer behind.  He had also traveled to Europe, China, and Alaska with Rena after he retired.  He also loved family reunions, his 45th Infantry reunions, taking pictures and shooting videos, hunting trips with his sons, gospel music, church, card and board games, classic cars, and airplanes.  He restored a ’51 Ford Victoria classic car and built an experimental aircraft in his large workshop behind his house.  He also whittled and did amazing wood and metal art.   He was never afraid to try new things like water and snow-skiing.  There was nothing he couldn’t fix.  He had a wonderful sense of humor and a great laugh that we will all miss so much. 

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Richard Bender, please visit our floral store.


Services

Visitation
Monday
March 7, 2022

10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Griffin Funeral Home
401 N. Dalmont
Hobbs, NM 88240

Funeral Service
Monday
March 7, 2022

2:00 PM
First Baptist Church
301 E. Snyder
Hobbs, NM 88240

Interment following funeral service
Monday
March 7, 2022

Prairie Haven Memorial Park
1900 E. Stanolind Rd.
Hobbs, NM 88240

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