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John R. Bender, Jr. Print E-mail

John BenderJohn R. Bender, Jr., Ph.D. 79 years old of Avon, Ohio passed away on Friday, February 2, 2018 at Ames Family Hospice House in Westlake, Ohio. He was born on December 14, 1938 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and lived in Lorain County since 1970.

A 1956 graduate of Pittsburgh Central Catholic High School, he earned his BS in 1960, his Masters in 1962, and his PhD in 1969 from the University of Pittsburgh. He was employed as an educator, serving as the Director of Student Activities at University of Pittsburgh, Penn State University (New Kensington) and LCCC. John was an Outplacement and Retraining Counselor/Consultant, served on Elyria City Council at Large for 5 1/2 years, the Ohio House of Representatives, from 1993-2000, and the Ohio State Board of Education from 2007-2010. He was also a delegate for Democratic National Conventions in 1984, 1988, and 2004. He was proud of his many memberships, including the Ohio Environmental Council, the Avon and Lorain County Historical Society Boards, the Elyria Knights of Columbus, Elyria NAACP life membership, the Ohio Democratic Party State Central and Executive Committees, the Western Reserve Civil War Roundtable, the Civil War Trust, the Civil War Institute in Gettysburg, PA, and a life member of Sigma Chi Fraternity. John was also a member of St. Jude Church and the Church's Parish Council.

John enjoyed politics, Civil War history, traveling, especially spending time with family, and taking his grandchildren to the Metroparks. John never met a stranger and he was loved and respected on both sides of the aisle politically.

He is survived by his wife of 16 years, Susan Neiding (nee Brandau); two children Jay (Lisa) Bender of Sheffield Village and Jennifer (Matt) Mallin of Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, step children, Dan Neiding of Vermilion, Sherri (Don) McComas of Avon Lake, and Penny (Dave) Harrold of Atlanta. He was a loving PopPop to Josh, Jacob, and Jami Bender, Alex, Megan, Andrew, and Carson Mallin, Kristen Neiding, Ben McComas, and Marissa Harold. Also surviving are brothers, Jerry, Jim (Arlene), and Jeff (Dee) Bender; sisters, Jayne Bender and Janet (Leo) Jacoby; and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his first wife, Lillian Cookie (Stanczak) in 1993, a granddaughter, Lilli Mallin in 1997, and his parents John R. Bender, Sr. and Ruth (nee Brown) Bender.

Friend will be received at the Reichlin Roberts Funeral Home, 327 Cleveland Street, Elyria, Ohio on Wednesday, February 7, 2018 from 12-3 P.M. and from 6-8 P.M. Additional calling hours will be at St. Jude Church 590 Poplar Street, Elyria, Ohio on Thursday, February 8, 2018 from 10 A.M. until the time of a Mass of Christian Burial at 12:00 Noon. The Reverend Father Frank P. Kosem, Pastor, and the Reverend James Becherer will Con-Celebrate. A private family burial will follow.

Memorial contributions may be made to Lorain County Metroparks, 12882 Diagonal Road, LaGrange, Ohio 44050.

» 27 Condolences and Greetings
Beverly Wilson
sent Sunday, 06 January 2019 06:43
My belated condolences to the family, especially during this first holiday season without him. I first met he and Cookie through the school system. I appreciated my acquaintance with him through our civic and community activities. He was always gracious and kind.
Marcia (Neicey) Gibson
sent Tuesday, 13 February 2018 08:03
Praying for the Bender Family !! Hold tightly to the memories!!
Hedy and Chuck Fye
sent Friday, 09 February 2018 07:12
Dear Sue and family, Please accept our condolences. John was a gentleman to the core. His friendly greetings and smiles will be remembered. We were fortunate to have known him. May he rest in peace
Sarah Hodge Lucha
sent Wednesday, 07 February 2018 13:53
To the Bender family; My most sincere condolences. The world has lost a great man, educator and advocate. I first met Representative Bender when he bought my chickens at the Lorain County Fair. After that I helped pick up campaign signs and handing out pamphlets with him. He offered me a job as a page at the State House while I was in school at Ohio State. What an experience! He was a mentor for me for years and he had the most wonderful advice on how to make an impact. As a teacher now I continually pass on his lessons of citizenship, history and service by telling and leading by example. The most important lesson I learned was to vote and vote often because that is the best way to have your voice heard. I am sorry I am unable to attend the services due to health issues but your family is in my thoughts and prayers. Sincerely, Sarah Lucha and family
Sam and Libby Betounes
sent Wednesday, 07 February 2018 10:18
We are so sorry to learn of John\\\'s passing. We spent many good times with John and Cookie, and John and Sue. He will be missed.
sent Wednesday, 07 February 2018 08:03
To the Bender family: I fondly remember as a teenager looking up to John and admiring his many accomplishments, particularly in education. He was one of the good guys! I am very sorry for your loss.
Julie Grm
sent Wednesday, 07 February 2018 05:53
Barry and I are sending you and your families our deepest condolences. John lived a full life and was lucky to have your by his side for much of it. He was loved by many. I am sorry that I can not there for you in person but you know that I am there in spirit.
Gene Krebs
sent Wednesday, 07 February 2018 04:44
I am so sorry for your loss. I served with John in the Ohio House and he was always looking out for the best for his constituents, and the state of Ohio. He was a very good and decent man.
Tania and George Kegyes
sent Tuesday, 06 February 2018 19:30
George and I have been very fortunate to know John Bender. He has been friendly, approachable and always took interest in everyone he met. Our thoughts, prayers and hugs are sent to the entire Bender family during this difficult time. His memories and accomplishments will always be cherished.
Mary Boyle
sent Tuesday, 06 February 2018 18:16
Dear Sue and family, We send our deepest sympathy and I hope to be there Thursday if possible to celebrate John's great life. He--and you Sue--was so supportive and enthusiastic about our shared goals in public policy, our love of Ohio, and our commitment for our own families and to the school children of Ohio. I loved campaigning with him in Lorain county. He knew everyone and inspired all. Mary and John Boyle
sent Tuesday, 06 February 2018 13:42
To the Bender Family. I just want to say how much I will miss John. He has been a friend and mentor for forty years. As his administrative assistant for 10 years at LCCC, I will always remember him for his stickler to details. Those who know him well know he ALWAYS had 3x5 cards in his shirt pocket for notes. He was determined not to forget ANYthing or ANYone. If he couldn\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'t recall a name he would always whisper to me \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\& quot;what\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s his/her name? \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\" I credit him with the ability to recall names and faces. He taught me well. When someone graduated from LCCC (John was in charge), I had to know exactly how to pronounce their names, literally and phonetically. Then I would pass it on to the Vice President who pronounced names at graduation. I loved it! And he loved it too. I have many fond memories of him. My prayers go out to the entire family. The ones I know, Sue, Jay, Jenn. God bless the entire family. I know his grands will miss PopPop! Love, Betty and Sam Odom, 2333 E 33rd St Lorain 44055
matt and sheila Nussbaum
sent Tuesday, 06 February 2018 11:21
Sue and Family. John was a real Gentlemans Gentleman. He was a lot of fun to be around and made our morning coffee far more worth while. God will now have him for his use. Our deepest sympathy to all. John rest in peace.
Al and Jennifer Meadows
sent Tuesday, 06 February 2018 09:19
Our deepest sympathy to Jay and the Bender family...We will always remember John as a kind, selfless and intelligent man. We were very sad to hear about his passing, he will be greatly missed but never forgotten.
Earl & Judy Brieger
sent Tuesday, 06 February 2018 08:06
Many fond memories of John and the Bender family at their home on Lang,St. Bede and Central Catholic. John was one of the good guys. Our condolences to the family. RIP John. .
sent Tuesday, 06 February 2018 05:55
And the sea gave up the dead in it, and death and the Grave* gave up the dead in them, and they were judged individually according to their deeds
John Overacker
sent Monday, 05 February 2018 17:13
As my Godfather over the years I remember him being with me at milestone in my life.. I always thanked God for having him as my Godfather at my baptism. Rest in peace in the hands of God's Love
Tom Dinnin Sr
sent Monday, 05 February 2018 10:51
82204 Great buddy & good friend John I will miss the good times at St Bede grade school. Also the fun times at Central Catholic High &other good times we had together with the old gang &tour of Ireland with our late friend Boyle. You will always be remembered in my prayers. Your old friend Tom.
JoAnne and Mike Polutnik
sent Monday, 05 February 2018 06:06
Deepest condolences to Jay and the Bender Family. Your dad was a great guy who did a lot for the community. He will always be remembered for his positive attitude and friendly smile
Al Pina
sent Monday, 05 February 2018 05:27
John was a good man, always a friendly smile on his face
Jerry Fitch
sent Sunday, 04 February 2018 16:40
My deepest condolences to the entire famjily. John was a very interesting and thoughtful man. Not only was he a neighbor but also a friend. I will always cherish our trips to Gettysburg. It was like being with a rock star because he knew EVERYONE! May he rest in peace.
Kara Afrates
sent Sunday, 04 February 2018 15:21
I met John while volunteering on several political campaigns in Lorain County. While some involved in politics were rather self-centered, John was always giving, thoughtful, humble, and decent. He always tried to help whoever needed it. I am so sorry to learn that he passed and my heart goes out to his loving family.
Jack Kustron
sent Sunday, 04 February 2018 12:36
I met John during the 1990's when he was serving in the Ohio House of Representatives and I was a contract photographer for the AP. While chatting one day, we discovered that we were both alums of Pittsburgh Central Catholic. I found him to be intelligent, dedicated and kind. My condolences to John's family and may the Perpetual Light shine upon him.
Arthur Mantzouris
sent Sunday, 04 February 2018 12:17
Im so very sorry for the passing of yr dear loved one John making this a veey sad time for all who knew and loved him dearly. But there is another person who knew him from the start and that person is God and he has a plan of bringing John back to life again and he will instruct his Son, Jesus Christ to do that. How do we know he will? Well by reading what Jesus Christ spoke about by giving us a future promise that he will resurrect John back to life again amd give him the oppprtunity to live forever on a peaceful earth like the Bivle reads at Psalm 37:29. If ever anyone of you, Johns Family or friends ever want to get to know wjat the Bible really teaches on subjects like the future, then visit us at, amd there you will find many things that will fill yr hearts with so much joy, to where you will learn what Gods purpose is for us and the earth...
Doris Walker
sent Sunday, 04 February 2018 08:25
Offering my heartfelt condolences. While words fail to capture the pain of losing a loved one, I pray that the God of peace and the love of family and friends sustain you at this most difficult time. May your hearts receive comfort from the promise God gives at Job 14:14,15.
Pat Mate
sent Sunday, 04 February 2018 04:09
Jennifer, Jay and family, I am truly sorry for your loss. We have all lost a wonderful man who was a positive example of how life was to be lived. He was smart, compassionate, and lived life to the fullest. He was a "class act" as they say. Take care.
Erin Armstrong
sent Saturday, 03 February 2018 15:15
John was the very best mentor I could have ever hoped for. We met phone banking for Sherrod Brown and, after I graduated from Cleveland State, he persuaded me to move to Columbus and work for him. That's how I met my husband, and John loved telling everyone he was the cause of our Statehouse "Rotunda Romance." John was also a large part of why I went on to earn my PhD. He was a committed, passionate, inspiring public servant, but he was most proud of his family. I remember him showing off his "PopPop" liscense plate to other state legislators in the Riffe Center parking garage. John has left a lasting impression on so many lives. Our love and thoughts to Sue, his children, and grandchildren.
Donald Wayne Fiebiger
sent Saturday, 03 February 2018 14:48
John R. Bender JR. was a very intelligent man, kind, visionary thinker, helpful to those less fortunate. When I had employment problems, he helped me with my resume and spoke to me about what attributes employers are looking for. I was so sad to here he passed away and my condolences to Mr. Benders family and friends.
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