Psalm 23

1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.

2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,

He leads me beside quiet waters,

3 He refreshes my soul.

He guides me along the right paths

for His name’s sake.

4 Even though I walk

through the darkest valley,

I will fear no evil,

for you are with me;

Your rod and Your staff,

they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me

in the presence of my enemies.

You anoint my head with oil;

my cup overflows.

6 Surely Your goodness and love will follow me

all the days of my life,

and I will dwell in the house of the Lord


Order of Service


Welcome & Prayer

Pastor Joe Oby

It is Well


Reading of the Obituary

Mark Simpson

I Know Who Holds Tomorrow

Song: Jonathon, Barb, & Elizabeth Ulma

Scripture Reading

Mark Simpson


Pastor Joe Oby

Time Of Sharing

Donna Smith & Joann Bender

No More Nights


Closing Prayer

Pastor Joe Oby

Lunch immediately following service.


Don Bender

December 11, 1937 - February 21, 2021

Donald Dean “Donny Boy” Bender, 83, passed away at UW Hospital at the American Center and went to his heavenly home on Sunday, February 21, 2021. He was surrounded by his loving wife, Joann and children, Paul, Kari (Mark), Susie and Bill and his grandchildren.

Born at Madison General Hospital on December 11, 1937, Don was the 5th of six children born to Delbert Sr. and Susan (Paulson) Bender, and the youngest boy. He moved around the Madison area throughout his childhood, but his favorite place was Monona during 6th grade. He lived right on Monona Bay and could drop a fishing line whenever he wanted, beginning a lifelong love of fishing. He graduated from Central High School, where he was known as Chief among his friends. In 1963, he met Joann Goetsch. During their dating years, Don enjoyed cooking for Joann, and they liked taking walks in Tenney Park. Don started a lifelong habit of singing love songs to Joann throughout their years together. They married on December 19, 1964. Paul was born 10 months later, followed by Kari, Susie and Bill. He worked for the State of Wisconsin at Memorial Union and Union South for 32 years, retiring at 59.

Don was a gentle and quiet man who loved his family. He was constantly checking on his family’s well-being and rarely said no to a request from his children or grandchildren. He spent many hours with his beloved granddaughter, Brianna. Don patiently played school for hours, and endured “dental” cleanings during their play time together as well as countless hours in the park.

Then there was the other Don: Donny Boy, the Card Shark. He grew up playing cards with his siblings, he loved playing cards with his kids, and he always played to win. All-night card games, Euchre tournaments in Minocqua, heated debates--Don was a sharp player with an eye for the win.

Don’s unique laugh will be missed by everyone who knew him. He loved watching the Three Stooges and passed his sense of humor on to his kids. “Bender humor”, as it was fondly called, was not often understood by others, but lives on in the laughter and pranks of his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Don received the heavy diagnosis of Alzheimer’s eight years ago, and used Bender humor to make sense of it and endure. His wife Joann was his tireless caretaker and managed his many health concerns, which allowed him to stay in his home all but the last few days of his life. She was proactive in seeking treatments and medical advice and was creative in ways to alleviate pain. Twice a day for many months, Joann would massage Don’s legs for pain relief and healing. Joann’s prayer was Don would continue to recognize his family and that prayer was answered. Even with Covid restrictions, all of the children were able to come in and say goodbye to him. Sunday night, Bill named each family member and assured Don that his family was safe and cared for, and Don went home to be with Jesus. “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” 2 Timothy 4:7.

Don is survived by his wife of 56 years, Joann; his children, Paul, Kari (Mark) Simpson, Susie and Bill; his grandchildren, Rachael, Danny and Sarah Simpson, Brianna and Sammy Gugel, and Caleb, Maci and Collins Bender; and his great-granddaughter, Kali. He is further survived by siblings, Dick (Dixie), Arlene, and Sharon (Will). He is preceded in death by his parents; siblings, Delbert and Linda; and brother-in-law, Jack.