Catherine Cecelia Bender, 93, of Chandler, AZ and formerly of Garden City, KS, died peacefully surrounded by all six of her kids at her bedside at Desert Oasis Chandler Group Home on Sunday, September 15, 2019.
Catherine was born on December 30, 1925 to James and Rachel (Connor) Winderlin in Scott City, Kansas. She was the youngest of four brothers and three sisters, all who have previously passed. She was raised on a farm north of Scott City, attended a rural elementary school, and graduated from Scott City High School. After graduation, she attended Mount St. Scholastica College in Atchison, KS where she graduated in 1948 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. She then worked as a medical technician in Denver, CO, Scott City, KS, and then Garden City, KS. She married Joseph P. Bender on August 6, 1955 at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Scott City, KS. Cathy and Joe settled in Garden City where they raised six children. After Cathy stayed home to take care of her youngest, she went to work for the United States Post Office where she delivered mail until retirement. Her husband, Joe, passed away in 1998. Catherine then moved to Chandler, AZ in October of 1999 to be near some of her children and their families.
In Garden City, Catherine was a member of St. Mary Catholic Church and sang in the church choir for many years. Once in Chandler, AZ, she became a member of St. Andrew Catholic Church, faithfully attending mass six days a week for years. She enjoyed playing bridge at the Chandler Senior Center and loved challenging all her family members at chinese checkers! After Catherine was diagnosed with Alzheimers, she worked diligently to slow down the disease by playing Scrabble, doing crossword puzzles, and staying on top of current events. She had a great love for her family, always putting them first, feeding them great food, and remembering birthdays every year.
Catherine is survived by six children: Fred Bender, Kay (John) Warner, Cindy (Jerry) Long, Steven (Melissa) Bender, Chuck (Libby) Bender, and Keith (Deb) Bender; 14 grandchildren and five great grandchildren.
Visitation will take place at the Bueler Mortuary, 14 W Hulet Drive in Chandler from 6:00-8:00 PM on Tuesday, September 17, 2019. A Rosary will be said at 7:00 PM. The funeral mass will be on Wednesday, September 18, 2019 at St. Andrew Catholic Church, 3450 W Ray Road in Chandler at 10:00 AM followed by lunch and fellowship provided by the St. Andrew Funeral Ministry in the church social hall immediately following the mass.
A second visitation will take place at the Garnand Funeral Home, 412 N 7th St in Garden City, KS from 9:00 – 10:45 AM on Saturday, September 21, 2019 followed by a graveside burial service at Valley View Cemetery in Garden City at 11:00 AM. The St. Mary Catholic Church Altar Society will host a reception at the VFW, 1101 West Mary St, in Garden City immediately after the burial.
Catherine was a Pro-Life advocate. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials be given to Right to Life or another Pro-Life cause.