Midge Bender, 89

Mildred E. (Midge) Bender, age 89, Centreville, passed away Monday, March 28, 2011 at her home.   She was born Jan. 6, 1922 in South Bend, IN, a daughter of Basil and Mildred (Allen) Boss, Sr.   Midge graduated from S. Bend Riley High School in 1940. She then attended Ball State University for 2 years.   Midge was very proud of her service in the US Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) from 1943 – 1946. She was a Tech 5 MID (Military Intelligence Division), where she served as a radio intercept officer, and recorded intercepted German & Japanese radio signals transmitted in high speed international morse code.
One year later, Midge married William W. Bender on January 11, 1947. They were happily married for 59 years before before his death on July 7, 2006.  Midge worked for the Michigan State University Extension as 4-H Secretary from 1953 until 1986. She worked a total of 54 years for the St. Joseph County Fairgrounds.  Midge was also a member of the Three Rivers Chapter #210, Order of the Eastern Star, and  was the SW Michigan District Soloist. She enjoyed reading, playing cards, bridge club, family & friends.
Surviving Midge are her daughters Barbara (Rob) Robinson, Mendon, Pattie Bender, Centreville, granddaughter Elizabeth Robinson, London, England and sister Barbara Allen, CA. She was preceded in death by her husband, parents, 2 brothers, 2 sisters and grandson Patrick Robinson. 
Relatives and friends will be received at the Eley Funeral Home in Centreville Thursday from 5-7 p.m., and also on Friday from 1-3 and 5-7 p.m. Religious Services will be held 11:00 a.m. Saturday at the First Presbyterian Church; 320 N. Main, Three Rivers. Burial will be in the Prairie River Cemetery, Centreville.  Memorial contributions may be made to the church or to the Midge & Bill Bender St. Joseph County 4-H Scholarship Fund.  Condolence messages for the family at www.eleyfuneralhomes.com.

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