Bender, Sr., Albert Emericus PhD (Rick) lifelong educator and community servant, died peacefully of natural causes and surrounded by family on October 23, 2013, survived by his wife of 58 years, Joan Carol Tabor Bender, his five children, Andrew Barnabas Bender (Andy) of Webster Groves and his wife Patricia (Patty), Albert Emericus Bender, Jr. (Bert) of Atlanta and his wife Kathryn Lee (Kay), Hugh Tabor Bender of Austin and his wife Cassandra (Sandi), Dr. Elizabeth Anne Bender (Beth) of St. Louis and her wife Shauna Cunningham, and Rachel Evans (Bender) Boxdorfer of St. Louis and her husband Matt, and his brother Francis (Mick) Bender of Maryland. Pop thrived in the presence of his 14 grandchildren, Maddy, Christian and Gretchen Boxdorfer, Connor Cunningham, Sydney, Jack and Max Bender, Alex and Brendan Bender, and Jordan, Lacey, Blake, Lindsay and Ashley Bender. He will be remembered as the co-founder of Bender Beach Week (est. 1997). Before becoming an education professor at Saint Louis University in 1968, Dr. Bender (BS St. Vincent, 1948; MLitt (1956) and PhD (1964), Pittsburgh) was a U.S. Naval Air Corpsman, brickmaker, butcher, Benedictine postulant, law student, high school teacher and college instructor. Among numerous SLU leadership roles, Rick hosted years of informal (raucous) lecture sessions for graduate students (in vino, veritas). He served to improve student education on the St. Louis Board of Education from 1993 to 1999. A constant presence on the Forest Park handball courts, he served as President, Secretary and Treasurer, receiving (and surviving) a heart attack on those courts. Rick served on the Deanery and Archdiocesan Pastoral Councils and as the Liturgy Committee Chair for Saint Roch. An Eagle Scout, Rick was Scoutmaster and Chair of Troop 98, and in 1978 received the Silver Beaver Award, the highest council distinguished service award of the BSA. His list of other community service and leadership roles goes on and on and on . . . Services: A Memorial Mass will be held at St. Roch Catholic Church, at 10:00 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013, reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, friends may contribute to St. Roch Catholic Church, Forest Park Forever, Skinker DeBaliviere Community Council, or Troop 98 (c/o St. Roch).
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Published in St. Louis Post-Dispatch from Oct. 27 to Oct. 28, 2013