MOUNT VERNON — Ret. Salvation Army officer Major Wilmer L. Bender, 85, of Howard passed away Saturday morning, Sept. 9, 2017, at Knox Community Hospital surrounded by family. He was born March 8, 1932, in Orwin, Pa. to the late Robert D. and Meta (Osman) Bender.

Wilmer was a man who loved God and loved others with a big heart. In his over 45 years of service in The Salvation Army, he served in numerous locations throughout Pennsylvania and Ohio, including nine years in Coshocton. He never fully retired, for he would be at the Mt. Vernon Salvation Army standing at kettles and serving in many different ways, one of which he loved greatly was being the Adult Class Sunday School Teacher.

Wilmer is survived by his wife, Helen C. (Martin) Bender, whom he married on Jan. 30, 1956; daughter, Susan (Terry) Wood of Cherry Hill, New Jersey ; sons, Major Robert (Karen) Bender of Painesville, Ohio and William Bender of Howard; Nine grandchildren and four great grandchildren; sister, Catherine Sullivan of Dorchester, Mass.; and brother, Donald (Deanna) Smith of Clermont, Calif.

In addition to his parents, Wilmer was preceded in death by brothers, Marvin and Robert Bender.

A memorial service celebrating the life of Wilmer will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017, at the Salvation Army, 206 East Ohio Ave., Mount Vernon. A private burial will held in Mount Vernon Memorial Gardens.

Expressions of sympathy may be sent to the family by visiting

The Dowds-Snyder Funeral Home in Mount Vernon is honored to serve the family of Ret. Salvation Army officer Major Wilmer L. Bender.


Mount Vernon News: 740-397-5333 or and on Twitter, @mountvernonnews



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