Gerald Dean Bender, 72, of Russell, Kansas passed away on Sunday, October 19, 2014 at the Russell Regional Hospital.

Gerald was born January 23, 1942 in Russell, Kansas, the son of Herbert H. and Viola E. (Mai) Bender.  He grew up and attended schools in the Milberger area.

Gerald helped his father and other local farmers with their farming activities.  Then in 1980, Gerald and his parents moved into Russell where he started working for the City of Russell.  He worked with the refuse department for almost 20 years before retiring in 1999.

Gerald was a member of the Bender Hill Lutheran Church in Milberger and later joined the St. John Lutheran Church where he was very active.  Church and community was very important to Gerald. He was a member of the Russell Regional Hospital Auxiliary, where he was the record holder for most soup supper ticket sales.  He enjoyed Russell Broncos sporting events.  He helped with the tailgate parties for many years.  He also collected German Beer Steins and was involved with 4-H when he was younger.  He was a big hearted man that will be missed by many.

Surviving family include his two sisters, Lois Cave of Redmond, Washington and Eileene Duryee (Bill) of Ellinwood, Kansas; niece, Alicia Epler (Jake) of Redmond, Washington and many cousins.  He was preceded in death by his parents and brother-in-law, Thomas Wayne Cave.

Celebration of Gerald’s Life will be held at 10:00 A.M. Thursday, October 23, 2014 at St. John Lutheran Church.  Burial will follow at the Russell City Cemetery.  Visitation will be from 9 AM to 8 PM Wednesday, October 22, 2014 at Pohlman-Varner-Peeler Mortuary with the family present to greet friends from 6 PM to 7 PM.  Memorials have been established with St. John Lutheran Church and Russell Regional Hospital Auxiliary.  Contributions and condolences may be sent to Pohlman-Varner-Peeler Mortuary, who is in charge of these arrangements.


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