Sunday, January 1, 2012

Sunday's Obituary - Matilda Shireman Bender

Matilda Shireman Bender is my g-g-g grandmother on my mother's paternal side (William Lawbaugh> Effie Bender > William Bender > Matilda Shireman).  The following articles were found on my trip to Kansas in October 2010.  I got to spend a wonderful day at the Kansas Historical Society State Archives Library in Topeka, Kansas.  

We wish to express our sincere appreciation to the many friends and neighbors for the numerous and beautiful flowers and the kind deeds and words of sympathy extended during the illness of our beloved mother and grandmother.
Mrs. Nora Bastin
Irvin Bender
Lewis Bender and Family
Walter Bender

"Card of Thanks", Halstead Independent, Halstead, Kansas, 3 March 1932, page 2, column 2: microfilm no. H1640, Kansas State Historical Society Archives, Topeka, Kansas.

Well Known Pioneer Woman Passes Following a Long Illness.
The last rites for Mrs. Matilda Bender who passed away at the home of her son, Irvin, south of town, on February 22, were held Thursday after noon at 2 o’clock from Pleasant Valley Church with Rev. D.H. Sills of Sedgwick, assisted by Rev. Moorehead of Wichita, and Rev. Bessie Koontz conducting the services. Music was furnished by the Pleasant Valley Church choir accompanied by Mrs. Virgil Wilson at the piano. The many beautiful floral offerings and the large attendance at the services gave evidence of the love and esteem in which Mrs. Bender was held.
The body was laid to rest in the family lot in Pleasant Valley Cemetery and those who served as pallbearers were Robert Trego, Joe Neal, Charles Berger, Will Hoke, Jas. McIntire and Lou Biggs, neighbors of the deceased.
Matilda Shireman Bender was born in Union county, Penn., December 21, 1847, and passed away at the home of her son on February 22, at the age of 84 years, 2 months, and 1 day.  Her death was attributed to a fractured hip received October 19.
She was united in marriage to John Bender, August 8, 1867.  They lived in Allenwood, Pa., until 1878 and moved to the farm south of Halstead.  For the past 54 years they lived within on half mile of the present home where they endured the hardships of pioneer days.
To this union were born eight children, four of whom with her husband preceded her in death, Mr. Bender having passed away February 15, 1925.  Those who survive are one daughter, Mrs. Nora Bastin, three sons, Irvin, Lewis, and Oliver and Walter, a grandson, whom she raised as her own.
Mourning her besides her children are two brothers, John and Samuel Shireman and one sister, Mrs. Emma Vaneida, all of Pennsylvania; a nephew, Herbert  King of Atlanta, Kans., who has been devoted to her during the weeks of her suffering; ten grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren.
Grandma Bender, as she was familiarly known, was a faithful member of the United Brethern Church at Pleasant Valley, always showing a keen interest in all the affairs of the church and Sunday school whenever possible until a failure of hearing and poor health kept her at home.
She loved her church, her home and her community and was always ready to lend a helping hand, a cheery smile, and a word of comfort to the afflicted and unfortunate.  Grandma Benders’s happiest moments were when she was surrounded by her family and friends.  Her sunny disposition had endeared her to all who chanced to make her acquaintance, and while suffering intense pain during the last few weeks her faith in her Saviour was unwavering.  She displayed great patience and fully appreciated the worth of true friends who helped to ease her and who were with her during the long days and night of suffering. 
“A heritage of Faith and love you left us all.
Seems to me the sun shines brighter,
Seems that life is more worth while
Seems to me the load is lighter,
Having been blessed by the sunshine of your smile.”

Matilda Bender obituary, Halstead Independent, Halstead, Kansas, 3 March 1932, page 1, column 3: microfilm no. H1640, Kansas State Historical Society Archives, Topeka, Kansas.

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