Nature 04

James Kenneth Bender

December 2, 1940 ~ September 7, 2021 (age 80)


James K. Bender, 80, left his earthly home for one with his Lord and Savior on September 7, 2021, at Ave Maria Village.  Jim was born in Alvwood, MN to Kenneth and Ester Oliver.  Following the death of his mother when he was ten months old, Jim was adopted by Otto and Anna Bender. They lived in Fargo for Jim’s early childhood years.  Following the death of his father he and his mother moved to Pine City, MN to be closer to relatives.

Jim attended Pine City High School where he excelled in all sports and would play with anyone that could keep up with him.  Jim’s high school friends were important to him and his fondest memories were of his classmates and his “best vacations” were to his class reunions.  He said that his friends carried him through this chapter in his life and would not have made it if it were not for them.

While in high school Jim met Myrna, the woman who would be the mother to their three children. They moved to Red Wing, MN and lived there to raise their children.  Following their divorce in 1978, Jim moved to North St. Paul and in 1984 met Linda Olson who would become his wife for the next 37 years.  In 1999 they moved to Cleveland, ND, where they owned and operated Northern Lights Restaurant. 

Jim was always open for a challenge whether it was getting new members for the Anoka Area Chamber of Commerce or raising money for Home on the Range and Diabetes at the Eagles.  Relay For Life also benefited from the competitive nature with Pancake Breakfasts, Peddle Cars raffles, or daffodil sales. He finally slowed down when he had a stroke in 2011.  His carving days with the Wood Chippers Club sadly ended.

Jim will be missed by his survivors including his wife, Linda, his son Otto (Lynn) Bender of River Falls, WI, his daughter Averal (David) Tebbe of Eaglewood, CO, and sister, Patricia Wyant of Mandan, ND.  He is also survived by four grandchildren: Brittany, Cameron, Cinnamon, and Brandon, fifteen great grandchildren, nieces and nephews, cousins, and many people he called friends.  He was preceded in death by his biological parents, his adopted parents, son James Timothy, Myrna Bender on 9/3/ 21   sisters Elizabeth (Francis) Ganser and Shirley (Wes) Wolsky and grandparents, aunts and uncles and cousins.

Linda would like to thank the staff at Ave Maria Village for the kindness and compassion shown to her and Jim during the most difficult time.

Services are pending.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of James Kenneth Bender, please visit our floral store.


Memorial Service
September 27, 2021

11:00 AM
Cleveland United Methodist Church
4th Avenue & 5 1/2 Street N
Cleveland, ND 58424
Guaranteed delivery before the Memorial Service begins

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