Don Bender, 91, died July 27 at his home in Estes Park after a short illness. He was born April 14, 1929 in Ft. Collins, the son of William and Katherine Martin Bender.
He attended school in Greeley, graduating from Greeley Central High School. Don served in the U. S. Navy from 1948 to 1952, and then attended the University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, where he was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and president of the senior class. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1955 and a Master of Arts in 1956.
He and class mate Martha (Marty) Hays were married following graduation on May 26, 1956 and the couple then began a more than 30-year teaching career at Pomona Unified School district, Pomona, California. Marty Bender taught in the middle school and later became a middle school and high school counselor.
Don was a math teacher, and school administrator and, after receiving another Master's Degree from CalState, Fullerton, became one of the school district's psychologists.
Their Colorado ties were strong and they spent holidays and every summer at their home in Estes Park, starting in 1968. Following their retirement they moved permanently to Estes Park in 1990.
They have both been active in Estes' community affairs. Don was treasurer for the Estes Music Festival Board during its existence, a volunteer with the Estes Valley Land Trust and on the Library Foundation board. They established the Don and Marty Bender Scholarship for students going into teaching at the University of Northern Colorado and were involved with Cumbres, an Innovative Teacher Education Program at UNC for future ESL and bilingual educators.
Don was preceded in death by his parents, by his stepfather, Roscoe Gall, and by four brothers and two sisters. He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Marty, in Estes Park and by nieces and nephews.
Memorial donations may be made in his name to the Estes Valley Library Foundation, Estes Valley Crises Advocates, P.O. Box 1287, Estes Park or to a charity of your choice.