Gary Eugene “Bear” Bender, age 48, of Knoxville, Iowa, died on May 30, 2020 in Warren County, Iowa.
Visitation for Gary will be held on Sunday, June 7, 2020 from 2:00 P.M. – 6:00 P.M. at the Winfield Funeral Home in Knoxville, with Gary’s family present.
A service, with Masonic Rites and words spoken by the Zag Trax will be held at 6:00 P.M. on Sunday evening at the funeral home.
Gary Eugene Bender was born in Knoxville, Iowa on September 1, 1971, to parents Daniel and Deb (Carter) Bender. Gary grew up in Flagler, Iowa and attended Knoxville Schools. He graduated from Knoxville High School in 1991. After high school, Gary worked at Pella Plastics Company before joining the United States Army. After his service Bear worked for a short time with Walmart of Knoxville and for 20 years with Reem’s Noodles, which is now called Marziettis’.
Bear enjoyed life. He loved his family, sprint car racing, the Dallas Cowboys, bonfires, and drinking Budweiser. He was also a devoted 32nd degree Mason and a member of the Za-Ga-Zig Shrine.
Those left to mourn his loss are Gary’s children, Rob Bender (Amy Anderson) of Knoxville and Kaylee Bender (Craig Feagins) of Newton; two stepchildren, Austin and Kayden Kruse; four grandchildren, Liam, Nolan, Wyatt and Lily; and his special niece Nevaeh Keeney. Gary is also survived by his parents, Daniel Bender (Michell) of Flagler and Deb Bender (Albert) of rural Knoxville; one sister Shantell Keeney (Travis) of Carlisle; and two brothers, Shane Bender (Michelle) of Pleasantville and Lenny Bender (Christy) of Des Moines; an adopted brother Bryan Overton (Beth) of Pleasantville; and his nieces and nephews, Kenyon Reed, Quinton Reed, Shaiyan Keeney, Cody Keeney, Nevaeh Keeney, Shane Bender, Lucas Bender, Austin Bender, Jayden Bender, Brett Overton, Nikki Overton, and Erika Overton; and many aunts, uncles, and cousins.
Gary was preceded in death by his grandparents Robert and Marie Bender, Delmar and Betty Carter, and Orland and Margaret Bender; and Gary’s two uncles, that Gary called his heroes, whom died serving the United States in the Vietnam War, Bo Bender and Gary Dean Bender.
A memorial may be given in Gary’s memory to his family.