News From Terre Haute, Indiana


September 29, 2012

Nancy M. Bender

Nancy M. Bender, 68, passed away Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012, at her home in Terre Haute. Nancy was born on March 21, 1944, in McGehee, Ark. to Roosevelt Wimberly and Bernice Wakes. Nancy moved to Terre Haute as a teenager and resided in Terre Haute until her death.

An avid reader, Nancy enjoyed reading a variety of books, particularly mystery, fiction and nonfiction. Known widely for her love of reading, she often received books to read from out-of-state family members, as well as local businesses. A talented athlete, Nancy played soccer, basketball, and ran track. She also had a love for football, with her favorite team being the Pittsburgh Steelers. Nancy passed her passion for reading, playing basketball, football and track on to her children and grandchildren. Nancy also enjoyed playing bingo in her spare time; often times bringing along family. She worked for Vigo County Head Start as a bus driver and the VCSC as a Title I Reading Education Assistant at University School. Because of her kindness and compassion, Nancy chose a career as a caregiver in which she worked for over 15 years assisting individuals with mental and physical disabilities.

Nancy was preceded in death by her mother; her grandparents, Square and Pearl Wakes, and her husband, Charles Bender.

She is survived by three sons, Melvin Childs of Cape Coral, Fla., Charles Bender, and Kenneth Bender and his wife, Lou Ann, all of Terre Haute; six daughters, Schelia Watkins, Angela Childs of Terre Haute, Joann Baker, Bernice Hasker of Glendale, Ariz., Maria Bender of Bowling Green, Ky., and Pamela Bender of Terre Haute; three brothers, Otis Wakes of Memphis, Tenn., Thomas Wakes and Darryl Dinning, both of Terre Haute. She also leaves behind 22 grandchildren, one great-grandchild, other relatives and many friends.

In honor of Nancy’s wishes, cremation has been chosen and a private ceremony is planned. Nancy’s family is grateful for all the prayers and encouraging words from so many. A special thank you to the Hospice of the Wabash Valley who provided comfort and skilled care along with compassion during her  last days. Greiner Funeral Home, 2005 N. 13th St., Terre Haute, IN was entrusted with arrangements. Online condolences may be made at:



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