Obit: Mary Bender


Mary Estelle Bender, 78, of Wilton, Iowa, died Tuesday, May 11, 2021, at University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics in Iowa City. A private memorial service will be held and burial will take place in Oakdale Cemetery, Wilton.

Expressions of sympathy may be mailed to Larry Bender, 814 Cypress Street, Wilton, Iowa 52778. Online condolences may be left at

Mary was born on March 24, 1943, the daughter of Joseph and Leona (Sambdman) Dutton. Mary graduated from Wilton High School with the class of 1961. She married Larry Bender on Sept. 13, 1997 in Wilton.

Mary worked for CDS in Wilton for many years. In her younger years, Mary enjoyed dancing. She also served on the Oakdale Cemetery board for several years. Mary and Larry loved traveling and wintering in Arizona. She also enjoyed creating crafts and attending garage sales with her sister, Carla.

Mary will be lovingly remembered by her husband, Larry; one daughter, Ellen Pickman of Detroit, Michigan; three grandchildren, George, Javon and Brittnee; two great-grandchildren, Christopher and Hailey; two sisters, Joanne Sothmann of Wilton and Carla (Bourke) Thurston of Wilton; and two nephews, Rick Thurston and Vance (Tammy) Thurston, both of Wilton.

She was preceded in death by her first husband, Buddy White; and their two children, Melissa and Christopher White in 1969; and one nephew, Brett Thurston.

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