Cover photo for Philip Bender's Obituary
Philip Bender Profile Photo
1940 Philip 2011

Philip Bender

September 16, 1940 — October 19, 2011

Philip Allan Bender, the youngest of two children of Arthur and Kathryn (Rood) Bender, was born September 16, 1940 in Warren, Ohio. He graduated from Lincoln East High School in Cleveland, studied pre-med at Kent State University , and later earned a degree in Instrumentation and Controls

On June 16, 1962, Phil was united in marriage to Barbara Wyler of East Canton, Ohio. Over time, they welcomed two sons, Philip James and Christian Allan into the world. In 1970, the family struck out from their native Ohio and the security and comfort of family for a new life in Northwest Indiana. Phil held a succession of instrumentation and controls jobs, taking him as far away as the Virgin Islands and as high as the top of Chicago? s John Hancock building.

In 1980, Phil migrated his experience and training to a role in the nuclear industry. He was initially hired by the Bechtel Corporation and the family relocated from Indiana to San Clemente, CA. As plants prepared to come online, the Benders migrated to other plants and other states, taking the family from California to Kansas to Michigan to North Carolina. Eventually, Phil accepted an opportunity at the Cooper Nuclear Station in Brownville, Nebraska and he and Barb chose to make their home in nearby Peru.

A succession of health issues resulted in Phil becoming disabled and retiring in 1995. Undaunted, he returned to school at Peru State College where he earned his Bachelors Degree in Business Management in 1999.

Music was a passion of Phil?s ? from his earliest years of piano training and accompanying his tenor father, he went on to play a variety of instruments including French horn and tuba in high school to playing in the all city and state bands. Later, he spent years performing as a member of the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America.

Phil was an avid reader, embracing a variety of genres, and a fan of classic film with a special appreciation for John Wayne films. An enthusiastic outdoorsman, Phil loved fishing and, with his family in tow, camping across the United States and Canada.

An active congregant ? and later member ? of the First Presbyterian Church in Auburn since 1986, Phil expressed his love of music by singing in the choir in solos for many years and performing with ?The Glory Gang? puppet ministry.

In years prior, he had also been a member of the Masons and Kiwanis.

A sudden complication of his illness caused Phil to be admitted to the Nemaha County Hospital in Auburn, and it was there he passed away on Wednesday, October 19, 2011 at the age of 71 years, 1 month, and 3 days. His wife, Barbara and son Christian were at his side, as was his pastor, Tom Osborne.

Phil was preceded in death by both parents and his sister, Carol Askew. He is survived by wife Barbara of Peru; sons Philip of Kingston, NY; Christian and wife Eyrdie Liza; grandsons Tim, Andy, Ian, and Christian; other relatives and many friends.

Memorial services were Monday, October 24, 2011 at First Presbyterian Church in Auburn, officiated by Rev. Tom Osborne. Special music consisted of a solo by Rev. Osborne and a duet by Steve Smallfoot and Becky Smallfoot, and Steve Smallfoot was organist and pianist. Honorary bearers were James Bell, Tom Smiley, Don Wellman, Craig Walker, Lois Wellman, and Roberta Allgood.
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