Jerold “Jerry” Richard Bender


Jerold “Jerry” Richard Bender was born on March 16, 1948, in Ipswich, SD to Albert and Lenora (Diede) Bender.  At the age of 74, Jerry entered his Heavenly Home on October 3, 2022, at Community Memorial Hospital Avera in Redfield, SD, after a well fought battle of Parkinson’s Disease.

    Services will be held on Thursday, October 6, 2022, at the Redfield United Methodist Church in Redfield.  Visitation will be from 9:00 to 10:30 a.m. with his funeral service at 10:30 a.m.  Pastor Melissa Rowenhorst will officiate.  After the funeral, lunch will be served in the church fellowship hall.  Burial will be at the Leola Cemetery in Leola, SD in the afternoon.

   His funeral service will be live-streamed to the funeral home’s website, below Jerry’s obituary.  Hyke Funeral Home of Redfield has been entrusted with arrangements (

   Jerry grew up on a farm near Wetonka, SD, and graduated from Leola High School in 1966.  On August 14, 1971, Jerry married the love of his life, Lea Ann Erickson.  To this union three children were born, Lynette, Gordon, and Warren.  Family meant everything to Jerry and he enjoyed fishing, hunting, and attending his children’s events. 

   Jerry began his teaching career in Redfield as a 4th grade teacher.  After that he was an elementary principal in Scotland, SD, Gettysburg, SD, Larned, KS, and back to Redfield until retirement.

   Jerry was a member of the Lions Club, a barbershop chorus, and his church choir.

   Jerry entered the Eastern Star Nursing Home in December 2019 due to his decline in health; the staff treated him like family.

   Jerry is survived by his wife of 51 years Lea, and their three children: Lynette (Scott) Anderson of Kinsley, KS; Gordon (Libby) of Normal, IL; and Warren (Heather) of Pickstown, SD.  Jerry was blessed with 7 grandchildren: Trenton, Macy, and Callie Anderson; Sean Valere and Toby Bender; and JeriAnn and Paetyn Bender.  He is also survived by sister Arlene (Marvin) Rall of Worthington, MN; brother John (Jean) Bender of Aberdeen, SD; sisters-in-law:  Darlene Bender and Kay (Jim) Dumire, both of Aberdeen; and Ann Erickson of San Diego, CA; brother-in-law Art Erickson of Bryant, SD; and many nieces, nephews, and friends.

   He was preceded in death by his parents, brother Milbert, brother-in-law Alan Erickson, and sister-in-law Marlys Erickson.

   Memorials may be made to Redfield United Methodist Church (1326 West 1st Street, Redfield, SD, 57469) or Eastern Star Nursing Home (PO Box 150, Redfield, SD, 57469).