Maryann Caroline Klingenberg Bender, age 89, of Centralia, Illinois, passed away at 4:58 A.M. on Wednesday, May 20, 2020, at Centralia Manor in Centralia, Illinois. She was born on January 3, 1931, in her home in Centralia, Illinois, the daughter of Gustav Heinrich and Leona Clara (Dinkelman) Klingenberg.
Ms. Bender is survived by her nephews, James G. “Jim” Klingenberg and significant other, Connie Rowcliff of Centralia, Illinois and John Klingenberg and wife Priscilla of Bowling Green, Kentucky; niece, Lee Ann Myers and husband Bill Ray of Centralia, Illinois; great-nephew, William Myers; great nieces, Holly Flautt and husband Josh, Raeann Myers, Molly Jones, Lauren Kimmel, Abbey McGill and husband Michael, Misty Klingenberg and Shrie Brooks and several great-great-nephews and nieces.
Ms. Bender was preceded in death by her parents; brother, Charles “Squeak” Klingenberg and niece, Angel Marie Klingenberg.
Ms. Bender was a life-long member of St. Peter United Church of Christ in Centralia, Illinois. She enjoyed traveling all over the world from the lands of Alaska to Ireland and Scotland and taking cruises. She was a sports enthusiast, who followed her favorite teams in baseball, basketball, and hockey, including Colorado Rockies and Colorado Avalanche. She loved hunting for antiques and other hidden treasures. Ms. Bender enjoyed the company of her adorable Pugs, especially Brun, Eli and Sinder. She was an avid collector of Pug memorabilia. She cherished the time she spent with her family and friends.
Ms. Bender graduated with Centralia Township High School’s “Class of 1949.” After graduation from high school, she worked as a clerk at S.S. Kresge Company in Centralia, Illinois to put herself through college. She graduated from Southern Illinois University-Cardondale with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education and received her teaching credentials. Ms. Bender went on to teach at Mount Pulaski High School in Mount Pulaski, Illinois. During her time at Mount Pulaski High School, she was a referee for girl’s basketball in the Mount Prospect area. She later retired as the head of the girl’s Physical Education Department at Southern Illinois University-Urbana-Champaign. After retirement from the educational system, she owned and operated a furniture stripping and refinishing shop in Rock Island, Illinois. She sold the shop and moved to Denver, Colorado, where she owned and operated the Happy Canyon Hardware Store. After selling the hardware store, she worked as a clerk for Target and a tax preparer for H&R Block until her retirement in 2012. She lived in Centralia, Illinois since July of 2019 and formerly lived in Aurora, Colorado.
Private Family Celebration of Life Services for Ms. Maryann Clara Klingenberg Bender will be held with Pastor John Pawloski officiating. Interment will follow in Hillcrest Memorial Park near Centralia, Illinois. As a result of current national health circumstances, friends are invited to join with Ms. Bender’s family via Live Stream at www.moranfuneralhome.net on her obituary page at 1:00 P.M. on Tuesday, May 26, 202 0. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Ms. Benders’s honor to the Alzheimer’s Association and will be received by the Moran Queen-Boggs Funeral Home at 134 South Elm Street in Centralia, Illinois. Please view the online obituary, send condolences or share memories with Ms. Bender’s family at www.moranfuneralhome.net or on the Moran Queen-Boggs Funeral Home’s Facebook page.
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