Mary Bender, 73, Mandan, died December 21, 2021, at Sanford Health, Bismarck.
Mass of Christian burial will be held at 1:30 PM on Thursday, December 30, 2021, at St. Joseph Catholic Church, Mandan, with Fr. Josh Waltz officiating. Committal will be at a later date in Dickinson.
Visitation will be held from 5 to 7 PM on Wednesday, December 29, 2021, at Weigel Funeral Home, Mandan, with a Parish Vigil at 7 PM. Visitation will continue one hour prior to the service at the church on Thursday.
Mary was born February 12, 1948 in Yakima, WA, to Mike and Elsie (Ridl) Wanner. She grew up in Dickinson, ND where she graduated from Trinity High School. Mary was united in marriage to William Kraft and they had two children, Kelly and Kyle. On February 14, 1994 she married Richard Bender. Mary had a passion for ALL animals, gardening, collecting antiques, sewing, crocheting, reading, and concerts. Her greatest joys came from her grandchildren, Ashton and Kyleigh.
Mary graduated Summa Cum Laude with a degree in Medical Transcription from Bismarck State College. She worked for MedCenter One and prior to that was a longtime associate at K-mart and did sewing for Stitch in Time.
Mary was a very talented seamstress. She made school clothes for her children, prom dresses, wedding dresses, and did alterations. She could sew anything. Her favorite season was summer, the hotter it was, the more she liked it. But her most loved holiday was Christmas and all it represents. So it is a blessing that God chose her to spend this Christmas with Him and all of her family and friends she missed so dearly.
Thankful and grateful for her love and life is her husband, Richard Bender; her children, Kelly (Jerret) Wood and Kyle Kraft; grandchildren, Ashton Kraft and Kyleigh Wood; brothers, David (Patti) Wanner and Robert Wanner; sister, Charlotte Jones; and many wonderful nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers or memorials, please direct gifts to the Bismarck Mandan Humane Society.