Eleanor Patricia Schmidt Bender
1924 - 2021
Eleanor Patricia Schmidt Bender passed away on December 23, 2021 in Lodi, CA at the age of 97. She was born in Lodi on February 24, 1924 to Sam and Kate Schmidt. She had one brother, Marvin, and two sisters, Loretta and Verna. 
She attended Garfield and Salem schools and graduated from Lodi Union High School in 1941.
Eleanor was married to Riney Bender for 58 years, until his passing in 2000. Together they raised 3 children - Shirley, James, and Robert. 
Eleanor and Riney owned and operated Richfield and Arco Service Stations until retiring.  
After retirement, Eleanor enjoyed many years of baking specialty cakes for friends, family, and the community. With her newfound talent, Eleanor met and made many new friends thru the demand for her beautifully decorated and delicious cakes. 
Eleanor was a volunteer elections inspector for the St. Paul's American Lutheran Church precinct for more than 20 years; something she took great pleasure in.
She was a long-time member of the American Legion Auxiliary, spending many years volunteering for many events. 
She is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Shirley and Bill Kemp of Galt; son and daughter-in-law, Jim and Kathy Bender of Lodi; six grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; and extended family.
She was preceded in death by her siblings, husband Riney, son Robert, and grandson Ryan.
A private service was held for family. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the American Legion Auxiliary, Unit 22; 320 N Washington St., Lodi, CA 95240.
Published by Lodi-News Sentinel from Jan. 7 to Jan. 13, 2022.
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10 Entries
We are so saddened to hear of the loss of Eleanor Bender. Eleanor made my wedding cake 36 yrs ago it was so beautiful with a waterfall & so delicious .She was so talented with her cakes. Our sincere condolences to the family during this difficult time. Eleanor will be so missed. For sure heaven gained a sweet Angel.
Lori Loretta & Frank Arena
January 18, 2022
Eleanor was one great lady. Eleanor could not see but played all the games she could manage while laughing with all of us. I loved her. My condolences.
Arline Ware
January 11, 2022
Eleanor was a classy lady, and a great volunteer in the American Legion Auxiliary, holding all the chairs and President several times. We are so sad to hear of her passing, but she is now in a better place. Oh, and her cakes were legendary!
Ann Scholl
January 10, 2022
Your mother was a kind and loving woman who loved her family and friends unconditionally. She was a friend to many including us. I thought of her just yesterday as I looked at the huge Christmas cactus she gave us when she moved out of her home. It must love her also because it doesn´t ever you bloom for Christmas but rather February, her birth month. You all are in our prayers for peace and comfort during these difficult days.
Bob and Cathy Noyes
January 9, 2022
Our heart goes out to the family of our beautiful neighbor Eleanor Bender. You were the most the sweetest soul ever. We love you and will miss you so very much. We will always have such great memories of you! Heaven is luck to again a new angel.
Lynette and Todd Erlenbusch
January 9, 2022
Dear Shirley and Jim: Eleanor was one of the sweetest women we knew. When Dave Hildenbrand and I worked for Riney and her in 1959-1960 she was always the calming force when Riney was cracking the whip for us keep up with his customer's lube jobs, oil changes, cars washes, tire repairs, and gas pumped. Yet in retrospect we developed a strong work ethic and will always be grateful for those years at Bender's Richfield Service. Plus he paid well. God bless you and your families at this time. You are in our prayers.
Stan Melcher
January 8, 2022
So sorry for your loss of such a great lady.
Jim Bertsch
January 8, 2022
My deepest condolences to all of Eleanor's family..She was such a grand lady.It was an honor to know her and have her visit the salon..
January 7, 2022
Shirley I am so sorry for your loss. She and Gerry had a good life. My thoughts and prayers.
January 7, 2022
Bender family, I so fondly remember Eleanor and her beautiful creations. She created my wedding cake off a photo I couldn't imagine could be real. But more importantly 35 years later. I still remember what a sweet and kind person she was to me during that time. I will never forget her kindness! My prayers are with you during this difficult time.
Lori Bryant
January 7, 2022
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