Melvin "Pete" Burnett Bender


April 21, 1932 - January 6, 2015



Melvin "Pete" Burnett Bender was born April 21, 1932 at Fulton, SD to Theodore and Celia (Brakke) Bender.  He grew up on the family farm near Fulton and attended country grade school.  He played basketball and graduated from Fulton High School in 1950 and graduated from Mitchell Business College with a business degree. On March 9, 1952 he married Dorothy Ann Cummings in Mitchell.  In 1956 they moved to Mitchell. He worked for Lakeside Dairy for several years and then was employed as a route driver for Modern, Scott’s Vallet and Palace Cleaners for numerous years.  He worked for the Randall’s Food Store and presently Coborn’s for twenty years.  He was a member of the Mitchell Wesleyan Church and the Moose Lodge.  Melvin was an avid bowler and enjoyed camping, fishing and spending time with his family. He loved to tell stories of his younger years and became quite a historian.

He is survived by his four daughters: Peggy (John) Rassel, Fulton; Lynette Bender, Sioux Falls; Dawn Bender, Moore, OK; and Cheryl (Dennis ) Kunkel, Mitchell; eleven grandchildren, ten great-grandchildren, three sisters: Shirley (Gary) Ritzman, Madison; Judy (Matt) Dillon, Hollywood, MD; and Carolyn Easton, Mitchell.

He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Dorothy March 11, 2014, two sons: Michael and Jerry, one brother, Bud and one sister, Jean Schutte, sister-in-law, Jean Bender, brother-in-law, James Mountain, uncle, Ed Bender and his beloved pet, Angel.




Friday, January 9, 2015
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Mitchell Wesleyan Church
Prayer Service ~ 7:30 PM
Mitchell, South Dakota


Saturday, January 10, 2015
11:00 AM
Mitchell Wesleyan Church
Mitchell, South Dakota


Graceland Cemetery
Fulton, South Dakota

Posted by Marlys Shade on January 11, 2015
To Melvin's family, My Deepest Sympathy to all of you. My husband Dale was Dorothy's cousin. my thoughts and prayers are with you all
Posted by Diane Plagmann Hansen on January 11, 2015
To Melvin's family; So sorry for your lose. I'm a first cousin to your dad, our mother's were sisters. Now your dad can join your mom and spend eternity together.
Posted by Richard and Carol Kunkel on January 10, 2015
So sorry about your Dad Cheryl. He was always such a big help when we would do inventory at the store. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family.
Posted by Sheila & Dennis Paulus on January 10, 2015
Many memories of Pete. Were the best neighbors ever.
Posted by Ron & Doris Bender on January 10, 2015
Our condolences to all of you on the loss of Melvin. We have fond memories from years ago of playing cards and visiting with Melvin and Dorothy; always an enjoyable time. May God surround you with His love and give you peace and comfort in the days ahead. Now your beloved parents and other dear loved ones have been reunited.
Posted by Dan Bender on January 10, 2015
Sorry to hear about Pete. He was always ready to have a conversation, even when we were kids. He made us feel important.
Posted by Carol Bender on January 9, 2015
My condolences to all of you at Melvin's passing. I know family, friends, and faith will uplift you in the tough days ahead. I was lucky that I got to listen in on some Melvin/Ed story swapping times over the past couple of years. Again, so sorry.
Posted by stan ruff on January 9, 2015
so sorry to hear about a great friend i have alot of great memories from the years i worked w/him. loved to listen to his stories. my thoughts and prayers are w/ the family
Posted by Emilee & Roger Solomon on January 9, 2015
We are so sorry to hear of your father's death. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Posted by Donna Wulf on January 9, 2015
To Peggy and Family so sorry to read of the passing of your loved one. You are in our prayers and thoughts.
Posted by Karen Kratochvil on January 8, 2015
May you feel God's arms around each of you giving you peace & comfort in the loss of your father. I have so many wonderful memories of both of your parents & those many times @ their home working with your Mother with her Mary Kay business. I'm unable to be with you on Saturday as I'm teaching @ a workshop.
Posted by Kay Williams on January 8, 2015
So sorry to hear about Melvin. Another member of our family gone. Always enjoyed visiting with him.
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