Richard Merritt Bend
1930 - 2021
Nash-Nelson Chapel
1001 E. Garfield Street Rte 23
Waterman, IL
Richard Merritt Bend
Born: April 18, 1930
Died: December 2, 2021
Richard Merritt Bend passed from this earth December 2, 2021, in his home with his wife of 38 years, Della (Reinhart) by his side.
Richard Merritt Bend (Dick) was born April 18, 1930, in Waterman, IL at the East Side Hospital. He was born to Mary (Souder) and Dale Merritt Bend. His mother once remarked he was 'an obedient boy with a streak of adventure and curiosity.' Dick recalled beginning his farming career with his dad, at the early age of 13 with a two-horse planter with a wire guide. He lovingly referred to farming as his career but also his hobby. His caring, loving nature was shared with his sisters Jean (Barr), Phyllis (Christensen), and Carole (LaVerne Jordal). Dick cherished his sweets. Carol shared when cookies were baking his nose knew. If his mother allowed a 'couple,' his math translation was 4 or 5.
Dick attended Swift Grade School and Waterman High School where he met many of his life-long friends. Attending Iowa State University, he was a member of the ROTC. Later in life he attended Northern IL University. As a young man he was a member of Young Farmers. His love of dance was shared and admired for years as he fluidly moved across the floor at several dance halls including Longs Barn, Blue Moon.
Dick Bend was drafted January 4, 1955, and entered the US Army- 10th Infantry Division, 86th Infantry Regiment, C-company 2nd platoon, 3rd squad, stationed at Schweinfurt Germany. He entered his army career as a Private First Class and achieved the rank of Sergeant E-5. He was awarded Expert Marksman- M1 Rifle. Being a very humble man, it was unusual to hear him proclaim pride, but he was quite proud of his achievements in the US Army. It was a farm field in Germany 1956, where the group first gathered for a 4th of July Picnic, which became an annual tradition. He was a member of the Waterman American Legion Post 654 in his later years.
He returned to farming in Earlville, IL. He served his community in various capacities:
DeKalb County Farm Bureau Director for 20 years; 4-H leader for 20 years; Soil and Water Conservation over 50 years (holding office of Board Member, Chairman, Vice Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer. He served on the District 425 Board as Chairman and Vice Chair, being the first Board President of Indian Creek School District. He served Rollo Congregational Church over his 65-year membership as moderator for multiple terms and a Deacon for 18 years. Some of his treasured moments were having his family join him in church. In his mentoring way he suggested they "could all use a little religion." He was an Elk Member in Mendota, IL. He enjoyed a full life surrounded by many dear life-long friends who enjoyed monthly Card Club and neighborhood social functions. His boyhood interest and desire to fly, was realized when he obtained his pilot license at the age of 55. He enjoyed 30 years viewing the world from a higher perspective.
Dick Bend loved to travel visiting over 30 countries and islands, all fifty states, and as many national parks as he could muster. His favorite travel memories arose from Lake Ripley, WI, a road trip to California with his young family, driving up Pikes Peak, crossing the Atlantic Ocean twice, Cruises and winter in Florida with Della, trips to Norway, and zip lining at age 84.
His love for his children will endure in the hearts of: Linda Sue (Ed) Hershman, Ronald Richard (Paula) Bend; John Merritt Bend; Denise (late Walt) Herrmann, Beth Kay (Dave) Prestegaard, Dave (Jen) von Keanel, Chris (Melissa) Kumnick, Richard Harvey (Erin) Bend; 24 grandchildren and spouses; 17 great grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews. Dick Bend's big heart and love of family echoed when he proclaimed, "there is always room for one more."
Preceded in death by parents Mary and Dale Bend, sister Phyllis Christensen, brothers-in-law Dan Christensen, Robert Barr, and late wife Marilyn (Boeger) Bend.
Richard Merritt Bend was not a loquacious man. His quiet, thoughtful, observant demeanor served him simply fine. He was a man like many of his generation, dedicated to a power greater than himself, earned his way by ethical dedication, hard work, service to country and community. The ground he walked, the hands he held, the lives he gladdened will be enhanced for generations unknown to him. For today, we celebrate his life and mourn his passing. Visitation Tuesday December 7, 2021, 3 -7 p.m. Nash-Nelson Funeral Home, 1001 E. Garfield St., Waterman, IL. Funeral services Wednesday December 8, 2021,at 10 a.m., Rollo Congregational Church, Rollo IL. Final resting place Wyoming Township Cemetery, Paw Paw, IL. Arrangements entrusted to Jacobson-Torman Funeral Home, Shabbona, IL
Published by Daily Chronicle from Dec. 3 to Dec. 4, 2021.
To plant trees in memory, please visit the Sympathy Store.
3:00p.m. - 7:00p.m.
Nash-Nelson Chapel
1001 E. Garfield Street Rte 23, Waterman, IL
Funeral service
Rollo Congregational Church
Rollo , IL
Funeral services provided by:
Nash-Nelson Chapel
Sponsored by Nash-Nelson Chapel.
Add a Message

Not sure what to say?

4 Entries
Deepest sympathy to the Bend family on the loss of Richard. Many fond memories from the Farm Bureau times with the Bend's. What a full and a rich live he lived. The Hutcheson's
Bob and Ann Hutcheson
December 7, 2021
Markley family
December 6, 2021
Donald and Sarah Bend
December 4, 2021
Blessed to count Dick as one of my "other" fathers in the Rollo Village community. His kindness, grace and acceptance of people no matter where they were was a beautiful example of how to live one´s life. Rest In Peace and know how loved you are! All the McInerney´s
Kimberly McInerney
December 3, 2021
Showing 1 - 4 of 4 results