NEW BREMEN — Melba Bender, of New Bremen, will celebrate her 100th birthday at an open house reception, April 15, 2017, from 2 to 5 p.m., in the St. Michael Hall in Fort Loramie.
She requests that gifts be omitted. Any donations will be used to support the Ben-Med Scholarship fund or the Elmwood Activity Fund.
Bender was born to Alvina and Albert Kramer, April 11, 1917, in Cincinnati. Her first husband, Carroll Joseph Williams, served in the Marines, losing his life on Okinawa during World War II. After marrying Martin Bender in 1948, she moved to Fort Loramie with her two children, Jack and Kathy. The Benders enjoyed more than 50 years of marriage before Martin passed away in 1999.
Bender is the mother of two living sons and three daughters-in-law, John and Diana Bender, and Roger and Bobby Bender, all of rural Fort Loramie, and Carol Williams, of Huber Heights; and six daughters and five sons-in-law, Kathy and Charlie Bolton, of Englewood, Marcia and Mel Bensman, of rural St. Patrick, Bonnie and Jody Josefovsky, of Piqua, Joyce and Denny Porter, of Phoenix, Arizona, Peg Bender, of Marysville, and Donna and Tom Fortunato, of Powell. One son, Jack Williams, is deceased. She has 19 grandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren.
Originally working as a pediatric nurse, Bender served as an industrial nurse during WWII. After all of her children were in school, she worked as the nurse at Copeland Refrigeration until her retirement in 1982.
Bender was a long-time volunteer, teaching religion classes for St. Michael Church for many years, supporting school-related activities while her kids attended, and volunteering with the Wilson Hospital Auxiliary and numerous other community organizations.
She often states that she “has a good day everyday” and enjoys conversing with everyone she meets. Over the last several months, she has frequently noted that her goal is to make 100, but that if she did not wake tomorrow, it would be OK since she has had a good life.