Donald Lee Bender

October 24, 1936 ‒ April 22, 2017

Mount Vernon, Ohio

Donald Lee Bender, age 80, of Mount Vernon, OH, passed away on Saturday, April 22, 2017 at his residence surrounded by his loving family.  He was born on October 24, 1936 in Holmes Co, to the late John and Hilda (Pepper) Bender.

Donald graduated from Hayesville High School in 1956, and joined the Army shortly after.  He was very proud of serving his country.  Donald loved raising and tending to his horses.  He loved mushroom hunting, NASCAR, gardening, and especially loved his dogs. 

He was a grocery store manager at many stores, and accomplished one of his goals by starting his own Distributing business.  Donald helped his wife at numerous Methodist Churches, working on the sound systems.  

He is survived by his loving wife, Sonja (Shoemaker) Bender; daughter, Alana Bender; son, Donald Todd Bender; a sister, Diane Bittinger; numerous nieces, nephews, a brother-in-law and 2 sisters-in-law.    

Besides his parents, his is preceded in death by a brothers, John and Doyle Bender; sisters, Marjorie McKenna, Miriam Beattie, and Margaret Van Gilder. 

The family would like to thank his friends and family for their love, support, and friendship throughout Donald’s life. 

A Celebration of Life service will take place at a later date. 

Memorial contributions may be made to:  Hospice of Knox County; 17700 Coshocton Rd. Mount Vernon, OH, 43050. 

To view this obituary or leave the family a memory, visit:

The Dowds-Snyder Funeral Home of Mount Vernon is honored to serve the family of Donald Lee Bender.   

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  • Deepest sympathy for your loss, Sonja. We lost my Mom, Doris Gwinner, six months ago and I still miss her. It is such a process when a loved one passes. We know they are with God and not in pain anymore. Cherish your memories of a good life together and know that God has you wrapped in His loving arms to comfort you.
    Joetta and Bill Clinger
    former Smithville United Methodist Church

  • Dear Sonja and family;
    So sorry to hear of Don’s passing. May God surround you with His peace, and love. Bless you with sweet memories also. Love and prayers Nora Frazee

  • Sonja and Family,

    So sorry to read of Don’s passing. A wonderful neighbor gone to a better place. You are in my thoughts and prayers.


    Sue Harwell

  • Sonja and family,
    We just wanted to let you know that we are thinking about you at this time.
    We haven’t seen you in quite some time, but have fond memories of your time at little Union Church and our wedding. (That was 18 years ago already!) We have moved back to Wyandot County and attend the church again. Our boys are 13 and 15, counting the days in their 7th and 9th grade year.
    Hoping our paths will cross again! May the Lord be with you!
    The Jury’s – Roger, Jenni, Jordyn & Ried

  • Dear Sonja, Alana and Todd,
    We count it a priveledge to have known Don as a friend and neighbor these few short years. We pray for you for strength and courage for what lies ahead in the days that come. Isn’t it wonderful that we can count on Gods promises and know we will all see each other again someday.
    Love, your neighbors

  • Craig and I send our deepest sympathy! Don held a special place in our heats ! God bless you and your family in this time of loss !

  • Sonia, Todd, and Alana,
    I am lifting you all in prayer as you walk through these difficult days. May God give you peace as you find comfort in recalling memories with him. God bless each of you.

  • God Bless and Thank YOU, Don for your service in The Military..RIP.. And Semper Fi.

  • I’m saddened to learn of Don’s passing. He delivered snacks and chips to our family IGA grocery store in Fredericktown for several years. Don was always a welcome and pleasant break in the day as we shared our experiences in the military and as store managers. Don had managed at T&A Saveway…a name long gone. My sincerest condolences to his family.

    • Dear Sonya,
      Lynn and I were so sorry to hear about Don. We have many wonderful memories of the time that you and Don were a part of our church family at Union. I pray God will wrap His loving arms around you and give you His comfort and peace.

  • So sorry to hear of Don’s passing. He was always very kind and wearing a smile. Praying for peace and comfort for the family during this difficult time.

    Edie Spencer Bates

    • We would like to thank all of the people that had such kind and loving words for our beloved husband and father, Donald Bender. God Bless all of you. Thank you so much. Sonja Bender

  • So sorry to hear of Don’s passing. You and your family are in our prayers.

  • Alana so sorrry to hear of your fathers passing What a great man Thinking of you and your family Stephanie White Cape Coral Florida

  • Sonja, I am so sorry for your loss. May God be with you during this difficult time. You are in my prayers.

  • Dear Sonja. So sorry to read of the passing of your family. As you now he was my first boss (T &A) during my Sr. Year of high school. He was great to work for and with. I will miss seeing him and reminiscing about those years. He loved his family and God. May God give you the
    peace that only He can give.