Donald Bender

Donald Leroy Bender


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Obituary of Donald Bender

Donald Leroy Bender, age 96, of Madison, Mississippi, formerly of Iowa City, died peacefully, Wednesday, August 30, at his residence.

Don was born in Iowa City, Iowa, on May 30, 1921, to Leonard Orr and Nadine (Kronmiller) Bender.  He attended elementary school in Coralville and high school at University High School in Iowa City.  He married Loa Maxine Miller on July 11, 1942, and entered the military in September of 1942.

During his Air Force career, Don served in Florida, Panama, Ohio, Arabia, Nebraska, Padloping Island, Illinois, Maryland, Hawaii, New Mexico, and Alaska.  Following the death of Maxine in January, 1965, he married Earsel Luke in January, 1967. 

Don enjoyed fishing, working on his ham radio, camping and playing card games.  He also enjoyed writing his memoirs and telling stories about his many experiences while stationed overseas.

Don was a member of Grace Chapel Madison Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Madison, MS.

Don is survived by his daughter, Linda Boldt (Charles) of Des Moines, IA; his grandson, Tony Boldt (Dawn); and great-granddaughters, Payton and Kylie Boldt of Olathe, KS; his nephews, Steve Bender (Susan) and Tom Bender (Susan); and niece, Sharon Heal (David) of Iowa City.  He is also survived by his step-daughter, Rahye Luke of Venice, FL; as well as her daughter, grandson, and nieces who called Don, “Grandpa.”

Don was preceded in death by his parents, both his wives, his brother, Bob Bender, and his sister, Doris Schultz. 

A visitation will be held from 5-7 pm, Friday, September 15, 2017 at Gay & Ciha Funeral and Cremation Service in Iowa City, concluding with military honors.  In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made in Don’s name to Iowa City Hospice. 


Final Resting Place
Memory Gardens Cemetery
2600 Muscatine Avenue
Iowa City, Iowa, United States