Helen Bender

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Helen Bender, 84, of Columbia, Missouri, passed away on Wednesday, January 20, 2010, at Boone Hospital Center. Helen was born October 12, 1925, in St. Louis. She was married on February 16, 1952, in St. Louis to Leo Bender and he preceded her in death. After High School in St. Louis, Helen graduated from Monticello Finishing College in 1945. She had a great love for kids and animals. She was involved in 4-H and Parkway School District Equestrian Club while living in St. Louis. She enjoyed showing horses and working on horse pedigrees and she also donated several horses to the University of Missouri Equine School. Helen is survived by son, Bruce Bender and wife, Cheryl of Columbia; grandson, Brett Bender who is stationed in Afghanistan while serving as an MP in the National Guard and granddaughter, Kaitlin Bender of Columbia. She was also preceded in death by her parents, Albert and Helen Baker Theis II; son, Steven Bender and brother Al Theis III. Services will be at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, January 23, 2010, at Memorial Funeral Home in Columbia. Burial will follow at 1:45 p.m. in Forever Oak Hill Cemetery in Kirkwood, Missouri. Visitation will be from 5-7:00 p.m. on Friday, January 22 at the funeral home. Memorial contributions can be made to Happy Tails Animal Sanctuary, 5900 S. Rangeline Rd., Columbia, Missouri 65201. Tributes can be left online at

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