BENDER – Leo J., 77, Ebensburg, beloved son, brother, loving husband,. devoted father, grandfather, uncle, good friend and neighbor, passed away Wednesday, March 26, 2008, at home. Born Nov. 9, 1930, in Patton, son of the late Modestus and Dorothy (Conrad) Bender. Preceded in death in 1996 by his loving wife, Joan (Gill) Bender, whom he married on May 5, 1951, and brothers and sisters, Anna, Albert, Edwin, Harry, Susan, Wilfred and Joseph. Survived by children, Jean, wife of John Mullen; Lois (Bender) Keegan; godson, Ron Peterson; Jeff, married to the former Marian Marhefka, all of Ebensburg; and Donna, wife of Kim Reese, Tyrone; grandchildren, Brian, Amy, Jessica and Shari Mullen; Leanna and Will Keegan; and Daniel and Christine Bender; stepgrandchildren, Kari and Kevin Reese; and stepgreat-granddaughter, Mia Butler. Also survived by brothers and sisters, Mary Price, Anthony Bender, Ruth Zakowsky, Raymond Bender, Myrtle McKee, Loretta Wilt, Dolly Haid, Irvin Bender, Margie Crist, Arvilla Bender and Bernard Bender, and surviving in-laws, Ruth Gill, Ruth (Gill) Strittmatter and Ed Gill. Member Holy Name Parish, where he served on the building and grounds committee, cemetery committee, executive committee of the annual parish festival and as an usher. Retired in 1985 as millwright foreman at Bethlehem Steel. He spent his retirement years working as a carpenter with his brother, Joe Bender. He was known as a carpenter, homebuilder and cabinet-maker to his family, church and friends. As right-hand man to Msgr. Gaus and “Honey-Do” to Toni Merlo, he was actively involved in many maintenance and building projects for Holy Name Parish and school. Friends will be received from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday and 3-5 and 7-9 p.m. Friday at Askew-Houser Funeral Homes Inc., Ebensburg, where a vigil prayer service will be held Friday evening. Funeral Mass will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Holy Name Church, the Rev. Msgr. Arnold L. Gaus, celebrant. Entombment at Holy Name Mausoleum. Contributions in Leo’s memory may be made to the Haiti Mission Fund at Holy Name, c/o Msgr. Gaus, 500 N. Julian St., Ebensburg, Pa. 15931. “This was no ordinary life. His was a life well lived and well loved. A life that will be sorely missed.”

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