BAXTER — Ronald Bender, 75, of Baxter, passed away Sunday, April 9, 2011, at Lakewood Health System Care Center in Staples, Minn., after an illness of several months.
Memorial services will be held on Saturday, June 4, at 10:30 a.m. at the Brenny Funeral Chapel in Baxter with Pastor Jon Hartman officiating. Visitation will start at 10 a.m. that morning. Memorials are preferred to the Heartland Animal Rescue Team (HART).
Ronald Lee Bender was born May 14, 1935, in Two Harbors, Minn., the son of James and Alice (Olson) Bender. The family soon moved to Bigfork, Minn., before settling in the Brainerd area in 1946. He graduated with the Washington High School Class of ‘53 and attended Brained Junior College and the University of Minnesota. He served in the US Air Force for two years, stationed at Harlingen, Texas. After his discharge, he had a lengthy career at Superior Plating in Minneapolis, then at Larco Manufacturing in Brainerd and later Pioneer Plating in Minneapolis. After retiring, he drove a school bus for Reichert Bus Service and was a greeter at Walmart. Ron was proud to have been a 39 year member of AA. Ron enjoyed hunting, fishing, camping and the companionship of his dogs, Gretchen and Willow, whom he adopted from HART.
Ron is survived by his wife of 21 years, Jan; son, Mark Bender, of Carlton, Minn.; daughter, Dawn (Craig) Smith and their children, Anna and Evan, of Simpsonville, S.C.; step-daughter, Nicole Irion and her daughter, Emily, of Baxter; brother, Dr. Robert (Connie) Bender, of Baxter; and sisters, Kitty (Daryl) Hartman, of Brainerd and Mary (Mike) LaFrance, of Crookston, Minn. He was preceded in death by his parents and infant daughter, Deborah Lynn.