December 14, 2020
Leona M. Bender, 91, of Valley View Terrace, Belleville, passed away on Dec. 14, 2020, at the Haven following a brief illness. She was preceded in death by her husband, Paul E. Bender, in 2009. Born in Grantsville, Md., she was the daughter of the late Roy N. and Viola M. (Wiley) Miller.
Leona was primarily a homemaker, but this also extended to her being a quiet partner with Paul in his watch repair and tax preparation businesses as well as in his pastoral duties. She also had a prayer covering business for the local Mennonite community. Prior to her marriage, she worked as a secretary at Miller Brothers in Springs, Pa.
She was a member of Barrville Mennonite Church and in earlier years was a Sunday School teacher and participated in the Women’s Sewing Circle at Allensville Mennonite Church and Maple Grove Mennonite Church.
Her passions included cooking and baking, especially for her family. She adapted many recipes to the tastes of her family, many of which are still being prepared by children and grandchildren. Relationships were important to Leona, and she enjoyed phone calls, visits and family gatherings as she was able to do so. Leona had a strong, quiet faith in God, exhibited by her never ending daily prayers for her children, grandchildren, and extended family. She always had a smile on her face, a kind word to give, and a prayer to share. Her love of singing started during her childhood; she and her two sisters enjoyed a cappella singing as a favorite pastime. Throughout the years, Leona often participated in many special music groups at church. Her strong alto voice enhanced the groups in which she participated.
Surviving are six children: Lois A. Arnold, Bronx, N.Y., John P. married to Mildred Bender, Greensboro, N.C., L. Roy married to Connie Bender, Lancaster, Titus W. Bender, and companion Amy Brandt, Belleville, Miriam D., married to John Ferguson, Mechanicsville, Va., and Loren E. married to Judy Bender, New Holland, 14 grandchildren, 24 great-grandchildren and two sisters: Virginia married to Allen Brenneman, Springs, Pa. and Darlene Miller, Grantsville, Md. She is also survived by many nieces and nephews who also loved her dearly.
In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by a son, Kevin Ray Bender, a grandson Ryan Bender and a son-in-law Roger Arnold.
Leona’s family would like to thank the staff at Valley View Terrace and the Haven for the care she received during her time there. She enjoyed her time at the Terrace as she interacted with both residents and staff. Although her stay at the Haven was brief, she appreciated the great care she received during her final days.
Her service will be private due to the pandemic, with burial in Allensville Mennonite Cemetery. Should friends desire, memorials may be made to Mennonite Central Committee, P.O. Box 500, Akron, PA 17501. Arrangements are under the care of Henderson Funeral Home, Belleville.
Online condolences may be offered at www.Hendersonfuneralhomes.net.