Michael Eugene Bender passed away in his home on Sept. 28, 2019. He went to be with his parents, Nick Joseph Bender (2012) and Lucetta Ellen Smalley (2016) and daughter, Katie Ellen Bender (1990).
Michael has four surviving daughters, Sarah (AJ) Kurtz of Puyallup, Kristin (Rob) Leidle of Seattle, Arika (Cliff) Armstrong of Arizona and Haley (Shane) Kohlmeier of Aberdeen. He had seven grandchildren (so far), Andie and Gage Kurtz, Camden and Reece Leidle, Isla Armstrong, Caspar and Desmond Kohlmeier. He is also survived by his siblings, John Bender, Nikki Bender Smidt and Boyd Bender.
He was born on May 4, 1958, in Aberdeen, Washington and graduated from Montesano High School in 1976. He held the 4×1 Relay record in track for 29 years. He worked for the Laborer’s Union for over 30 years with most of it as a Superintendent at Rognlins, Inc. where he retired from in 2016. He was well respected by his crew and a perfectionist to the work he completed. When his daughters were younger, he spent his days after work coaching their sports teams. He resided in Montesano for his whole life.
Michael was a loyal Huskie’s fan often taking road trips to watch them play even on Christmas Day; the only time he missed a home game was when Kristin was born (don’t worry he made sure it was on in the hospital room). He loved the game of golf even going as far as having a putting green in his backyard. If you ever got the pleasure of playing with him, you’d learn quickly that golf was not the only four letter word used on the course. He had one of the best senses of humor and a quick wit about him. His love of Bruce Springsteen was well known. He saw him in concert multiple times. He would have done anything for his family and was a loyal friend to many.
His services will be held at St John’s Catholic Church in Montesano at 11 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 11, with a graveside committal service at Wynooche Cemetery. A reception will follow at the parish hall next to the church. In lieu of flowers, we suggest donations in his name to the Chimps Sanctuary Northwest. He had a big heart for the chimps and donated to them monthly for many years.