Kenneth M. “Kenny” Bender, 64 of Girard, died Tuesday December 31, 2019 at his lifelong home in Girard.
He was born in Erie, November 29, 1955, a son of the late Charles and Anna M. (Surovick) Bender.
Ken graduated from the Rice Avenue Union High School in 1973. While in high school he assisted the Yellow Jacket football team as Manager.
Immediately following high school, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, where he served with the Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 62 (Seabees). He was awarded the National Defense Service Medal and the Good Conduct Medal.
Following his honorable discharge from the Navy, Ken returned home and began working with his brother at Bender Excavating. He later worked for Ralph Niebauer Construction before going to work at Jackburn Mfg. in Girard as a maintenance man. He worked for Mike Surovick as a Union Contractor for many years and most recently had been employed by EMSCO in Girard in the maintenance department.
He was a member of St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church; the Girard American Legion Post #494, where he was the Legion Park manager for 20 years, past member of the board of directors; the American Legion Honor Guard; the American Legion Flag Folding Team, Sergeant of Arms, 1st Vice and 2nd Vice and assisted in the Annual Memorial Day ceremonies for 20 years.
Ken loved his family and just simply tinkering in the basement with his grandsons, who he called his “downstairs gang.”
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a sister, Maryanne Bender in infancy, a brother John in infancy and two other brothers, William and Charles Bender.
He will be greatly missed by his family, which include his wife, Diane M. (Metzler) Bender, whom he married, February 4, 1978 in Girard; two sons, Charles A. Bender (Jen) and Jake M. Bender (Tania); two sisters, Marge A. Burbee and Karen M. Knorr; two brothers, Gerald “Butch” Bender and David A. Bender (Celia); his grandchildren, Cole, Julian, Ethan and Sean Bender also several nieces, nephews and cousins.
Friends may call on Friday from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. at Edder Funeral Home Inc., 309 Main St. East, Girard and are invited to a Prayer Service there on Saturday at 9:30 a.m. followed by the Funeral Mass at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, 101 Olin Ave., Girard at 10 a.m. with Rev. Scott Detisch officiating.
Burial with full military honors will be in St. John Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Girard American Legion Post #494 Honor Guard, 42 Wall St., Girard, PA 16417
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