Gary William Bender, 74, of Columbus NJ, died peacefully on Monday, March 13, surrounded by his family.
Gary was born on August 24, 1948 to William Levi Bender and Mary Alice Mendenhall Bender in West Chester, PA. He spent his early years in Delaware, and moved to New Jersey in 8th grade. Gary graduated from Hamilton High School West in 1966 and went on to study History and Education at New Jersey State Teachers College at Trenton, now known as The College of New Jersey.
After graduating, Gary began his career with a degree in Education. He started his teaching journey at Kisthardt Elementary School where his love of teaching blossomed. Pursuing his own love of learning, he received his Masters of Arts in Education Administration and furthermore became an administrator. Gary was principal of Mercerville Elementary School in Hamilton, NJ, serving there for 23 years. He also served as principal of Aston Elementary School in Aston, PA until his retirement. A beloved principal, Gary sought to create a positive learning environment for students, teachers, and support staff, providing support and encouragement for all. Even into his retirement he continued touching lives as a student teaching adjunct at The College of New Jersey for the last seven years.
Gary was an avid golfer and enjoyed playing in a softball league throughout his retirement. He loved the beach and enjoyed his weekends at his second home on Long Beach Island, NJ. He was a faithful member of First Presbyterian Church in Moorestown, serving as elder. Gary was passionate about civic involvement and was elected to the office of Springfield Township Municipal Council, serving for one term as President of Council.
Gary is survived by his loving wife of 31 years, Nancy; three children: John and Melinda Fehn, Justin & daughter Lily; Paul and Ashley Fehn & their daughter Lucy; and Katelyn Fehn. All of which he loved dearly.
Gary was predeceased by his parents, William and Mary Bender and in-laws Allen and Helen Fisher. He is survived by his siblings William Stroud, Janet and Roland Saxton, Larry and Pat Bender, Richard and Suzanne Bender, and Debbie and Harry Mapps. Gary is also survived by brother-in-law Allen and Chris Fisher, and sisters-in-law Jerry Luckie, Betty and Eric Anderson and Cathy and Eric Peterson. Gary is also survived by many adoring nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews.
Services will be held at First Presbyterian Church in Moorestown, NJ. Visitation will be on Monday March 20 from 6-8pm and Tuesday morning March 21 from 9:30AM-10:45AM. Service will be held on March 21 and will begin at 11:00 am.
In lieu of flowers,the family requests donations be made to First Presbyterian Church at 101 Bridgeboro Road, Moorestown, NJ 08057. Email condolences to the family at leefuneralservice.com. Arrangements were made with Ed Kaelin III at the Lee Funeral Home, Mt. Holly.