Joyce P. Bender
August 25, 1931 - October 27, 2019
Joyce Jeanette Pease Bender, age 88, passed away at Mala Strana Rehabilitation and Care Center in New Prague, MN on October 27, 2019, surrounded by her family. She struggled with dementia for over 14 years. Joyce was born in Madison, WI on August 25, 1931 to Lora Ray Pease and Louise Ellen (Bolhalter). Growing up in Monticello, WI, Joyce developed her lifelong love of music. She sang her first solo at church on Christmas Eve when she was five. Soon after, she began playing the piano and saxophone. In 1948 Joyce graduated at age 16 from Monticello High School as Valedictorian of her class. She received a scholarship to attend the University of Wisconsin, Madison and earned a Bachelor Degree in Music Education in 1952.
On August 11, l953 she married her college sweetheart Lt. Willard Anthony “Bink” Bender in Monroe, Wisconsin. They moved to Fort Eustis, Virginia where Bink was stationed as a member of the Army Transportation Corps. Within four months Bink was sent to Japan for 1½ years while Joyce taught music at Menomonee Falls, WI.
Music always remained an important part of her life. Joyce gave private piano and voice lessons, directed and performed in numerous plays and music programs, and accompanied many nervous high school band and choir students participating in music festivals. She played organ, sang in the choir and was a soloist at church in New London, WI. At St. Wenceslaus Church in New Prague she participated in the choir and was a cantor. One of her proudest moments was when she was the soprano soloist for the “Messiah” with professional vocalists from St. Lawrence University. Most of all, Joyce enjoyed playing the piano and singing with her family, especially Bink, who often joined in with a baritone, trombone or banjo.
Bink and Joyce lived in Monroe, WI and New London, WI before moving to New Prague, MN, in 1980. Throughout their 66 years of marriage, Joyce supported Bink in his banking career and community endeavors, which he said he wouldn’t have been able to do without her support.
In 1984, Joyce took on the challenge of being the first Community Relations Director at Queen of Peace Hospital in New Prague. She was very proud when her department received awards for The Peace Profile and other publications that showcased the hospital and community. Joyce was active in the Queen of Peace Hospital Auxiliary and started Card-o-Rama as a fundraiser for the hospital. The program continued for 37 years. In Monroe, Joyce was a member of the General Federation of Women's Clubs and also started Questers, a national antique study group. Joyce enjoyed playing bridge, a leisurely round of golf, and boating on the river.
Joyce had deep faith and a caring heart. Going out of her way to help others was central to how she lived her life. Her graciousness will be remembered by everyone she touched. She put her heart and soul into everything she did.
Family was always a priority. Joyce was very proud of her children and grandchildren and cherished her time with them. Joyce said she was fortunate to marry a man who supported her and whose love she never doubted. Joyce recalled how, on their 50th anniversary, she and Bink were reflecting on their life together. “Bink gave me a big hug and said we’ve had a good run! . . . And we have.”
Joyce was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Bink, and her dear sister, Lorna Pease Viney. She is survived by her children, Lora Louise Lambert, Michael Anthony (Donna) Bender, Mary Jane Bender, and grandchildren, Brooks Lambert (Angi), Brady Lambert, Joelle Bender, Alyssa Tripi (Lewis), Eric Bender and great grandchildren, Luke Tripi and Clayton Lambert.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held Thursday, October 31, 2019 at 11:30 AM at St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church with Father Eugene Theisen officiating. Visitation begins at 10:00 AM in church. Burial will occur at St. Wenceslaus Cemetery followed by lunch at the Legion Clubroom.
The family wishes to thank the staff at Mala Strana Little Village and Moments Hospice for their compassionate and caring support.
Those wishing to express sympathy may consider a donation in Joyce’s honor to the MN Alzheimer’s Association http://alz.org/mnnd/donate.