James Bernard Bender, 73, of Elroy, Wisconsin, died at home of pancreatic cancer on Wednesday, August 5, 2020.
He was born April 30, 1947 to Bernard and Alice (Kozlowski) Bender. He graduated from Royall High School in 1966. Jim served in the Army in the Vietnam era with the 47th Mechanized Infantry. He was recently honored with a Quilt of Valor in a special ceremony. He took great pride in his country and community by dedicating many hours of service to the Elroy Legion in his retirement years.
He worked for Scott's Construction and then became an over-the-road owner-operator truck driver. He retired from Martin Milk Service & Warehousing in 2007.
Prior to retirement he purchased a small farm just outside of Elroy. He enjoyed spending the day there getting nothing done all day with his grandkids.
He is survived by his wife Kristine; daughters, Sara (Jeremy) Palamaruk and Soni (Matt) Salm and his five grandchildren, Josh, Delaney, Alie, Beckett and Connolly. He is further survived by his siblings, Carol Bender, Janet Dahl, Joe (Kristy) Bender, Donna (Henry) Hansen, George (Sherry) Bender, Tom (Charlene) Bender, Allen (Jill) Bender, Diane (Mark) Hibbard, and "Tuti" Frances Bauman (Scott); Kris’s sisters, Kathy Koegel (Cliff Dillhunt), Karen (Harry) Jones and Kay (Doug) Steiner; brothers-in-law Mike Kinnard and Dar Koerber, and aunts Marie Bender, Bev Kozlowski and Betty Proeber and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents Bernard and Alice Bender; sister, Sharon Kinnard, infant brother, Ronald, parents-in-law, Mary Jane and Gordon Koegel and sister-in-law, Kim Koerber.
A celebration of life will be planned for a later date.
The Picha Funeral Home in Elroy is assisting with arrangements.