COLUMBUS — Michael K. Bender, 52, died peacefully on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018, in Columbus.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held 10:30 a.m. Monday, Jan. 8, at St. Bonaventure Catholic Church in Columbus. Visitation will be 5-7 p.m. Sunday, with a 7 p.m. vigil, and 8:30-10 a.m. Monday, all at McKown Funeral Home in Columbus. Interment will be in All Saints Cemetery in Columbus, with military honors by the American Legion Hartman Post 84 Honor Guard.
Michael Kenneth Bender was born June 13, 1965, in Lincoln to Kenneth G. and Betty L. (Shanle) Bender. He attended St. Mary's Catholic School and graduated from Aquinas High School in 1984 as valedictorian of his senior class. Mike's speech received a standing ovation and was later published in the Omaha World-Herald. Mike was an outstanding athlete and student. He excelled in football, playing the quarterback position. He also threw the discus in the state competition as a freshman and competed in the Jr. Olympics. Following graduation Mike served in the U.S. Army until being honorably discharged. He worked in the Columbus area at various jobs such as Behlen Manufacturing and most recently at Camaco. Mike was a friend to everybody who met him. He believed there was good in all people.
He is survived by his parents Ken and Betty Bender of Columbus; sister Kathleen (Michael) Sloggett of Eaton, Colorado; sister Joni (Tim) Richter of Lincoln; sister Jackie (Bob) Wattam of Sautee Nacoochee, Georgia; sister Vicki (Delbert) Chollar of Columbus; nine nieces and nephews; two great-nieces; and one great-nephew.
Memorials may be directed to the wishes of the family.
Condolences may be left at www.mckownfuneralhome.com.