Longtime Southold resident John Donald Bender died peacefully June 20 at his home. He would have been 88 on July 25, 2015.
He was born July 25, 1927, in Patterson, N.J. to John L. and Freda (Bruhin) Bender.
John was a World War II U.S. Navy Veteran, enlisting on his 17th birthday and serving in the Philippines as well as the USS Kearsage. During his time of service, he won multiple awards. He continued his service in the Naval reserves for several years.
His work career had many reincarnations. John bartended at Bender’s Café, the family business in Patterson and later drove fuel trucks, worked for a roofing company and drove tour buses. His main career was in quality control, first working for Ford Motor Company and later getting into the newly developing aerospace industry.
John met his wife, Jane (née GaNun) at Singer Kearfott Industries while working on the Lunar Lending module (LEM) that was eventually sent to the moon. They were married Dec. 29, 1971, in Riverhead. In the early ’70s, he moved his family to the North Fork and began working for Grumman Aerospace. He retired from Grumman in 1998, but continued working, driving tour buses and limousines, enjoying the people and places for many years.
John was a member of the Moose Club. He was also a member of Mattituck Gun Club and loved hunting, fishing, competition shooting. Most importantly he loved spending time with family.
He leaves behind his loving wife of over 40 years, Jane, his two daughters, Janique (Robert) Nine of Mattituck and Judith (James) Finn of Huntington Station and two granddaughters, Cassandra and Teagan.
A memorial service will take place Thursday, July 9, at 1 p.m. at Calverton National Cemetery. Cremation was private.
Arrangements are in the care of Coster-Heppner Funeral Home in Cutchogue.
The family requests that memorial donations in John’s name be made to East End Hospice or Wounded Warrior project.
This is a paid notice.