Elsie Ella (Renner) Bender, 83, of Havre died April 27, 2011, from multiple myeloma.
Services will be Friday, May 6, at 2:30 p.m. at the First Lutheran Church in Havre, followed by a lunch at the Eagles Club. Burial will be at Manchester Cemetery in Great Falls at 2 p.m.
Elsie was born Jan. 9, 1928, in Fox Valley, Saskachewan, to Emil and Annie Renner. She finished school through the 12th grade in Canada. She married Ivol M. Bender in Medicine Hat, Alberta, in 1945, and they moved to Great Falls in 1946, then Havre in 1966. They had six children. She became a U.S. citizen Dec. 22, 1952.
Elsie and Ivol owned and operated Bender Body Shop for many years. She did all the bookkeeping, running for parts and answering phones — a real girl Friday. After Ivol retired, she continued to do everything for her son who took over the business, becoming Bender's Wrecker Service's girl Friday. She also did volunteer work at Milam's during Valentine's Day and Mother's Day.
Elsie was a women's auxiliary member of the Havre Eagles Club and the Moose Lodge of Black Eagle.
She made porcelain dolls for many years and ceramic figurines. Throughout her life, Elsie enjoyed camping, gardening, baking, cake decorating, crocheting, sewing, canning, barbecue parties and TGIF. She had just started doing quilts before she became ill. Her biggest love was for her porcelain dolls, which are all over her home.
Elsie is survived by her husband, Ivol M. Bender of Havre; daughters, Gail Tuss of Sedro-Woolley, Wash., Carol Prindiville of Havre, Debbie Krause of Dekalb, Ill., and Cindy Logan of Helena; son, Lyle Bender of Havre; sister, Esther Petrunia; 14 grandchildren; and many great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her parents and son, Douglas Bender.