Richard A. Bender, 78, of East Hartford, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019 after battling numerous cancers for 12 years. He is survived by his wife of 54 years Anita (Hamstedt) Bender, son Brian R. Bender (Wendy) of Bristol, Conn., daughter Kelli M. Corsetti (Brian A.) of North Attleboro, Mass., and eight grandchildren: Nicole, Samantha, Rebecca and Lauren Bender; Allison, Madelyn, Katelyn & Zachary Corsetti.
Born in Akron, Ohio to Harry A. Bender, PhD and Agnes L. Bender, he moved to Kingston, R.I. at the age of three. Richard attended local schools, sharing the status of valedictorian with two other SKHS classmates, and earned a B.S. in Mathematics from URI. As Alpha of Rho Iota Kappa fraternity (local chapter), he facilitated its transition to national Chi Phi fraternity in 1962. For 31 years he was employed as an aeronautical engineer at PWA.
Before and after converting to Catholicism, he was involved in numerous Our Lady of Peace Church activities: Adult Social Club (Vice-President and President), carnival (money wheel), picnic, and weekly bingo. He golfed and bowled in several leagues. Many hours were spent watching sports on TV: UConn Women's Basketball, Boston Red Sox, New England Patriots and Boston Celtics. Poker games were “sacred” for 53 years. The players changed over time but the games played on!
Dick enjoyed taking the entire family to WDW, the Bahamas, and on a cruise to Bermuda to celebrate our 50th anniversary. Family time spent at Wildwood, Fox Hollow, and Cape Cod was special. RCCL cruises, Globus bus tours and treks to Naples, Fla. were happy events. His greatest enjoyment was playing board games and cards with his grandchildren, especially teaching them O S!
He leaves his sister-in-law Carol Fletcher Bender of Wickford, R.I.; one niece, and five nephews. Dick was predeceased by brothers, Robert L. Bender and Roger H. Bender, PhD and wife Caroline Barlow Bender.
Thank you to all the staff at St. Francis Hospital Cancer Center for the care given over the past eight years and the hospital's eighth floor oncology wing for their dedication and care in 2015 and this past week. You all have become “family”.
Calling hours will be held on Thursday, Oct. 10, from 4 - 7 p.m. at D'ESOPO-East Hartford Memorial Chapel, 30 Carter St., East Hartford, CT. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 11, at Our Lady of Peace Church of St. Edmund Campion Parish, 370 May Road, East Hartford, Conn. The family has asked that everyone go directly to the Church on Friday morning. Private burial will be at the convenience of the family. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the “Sister M. Consolata O'Connor ’39 Endowed Scholarship”, University of Saint Joseph, c/o Office of Institutional Advancement, 1678 Asylum Avenue, West Hartford, CT 06117. For on-line expressions of sympathy please visit www.desopoeh.com .