Cover photo for Marion Dorita Bender's Obituary
Marion Dorita Bender Profile Photo
1929 Marion 2021

Marion Dorita Bender

September 13, 1929 — January 24, 2021

Marion Dorita Greenberg Bender (died, 1/24/2021)

Marion Dorita Greenberg was born on Sept 13, 1929 in Brooklyn NY to Mother, Besse (Batia) and father, Irving (Edward Irving) Greenberg. She had two older sisters—Leah (12 years older, married name Elsas) and Jessica (8 years older, married name Seiden). Marion was an athletic child (though not in terms of team sports, which were unavailable to women in the public schools in her day), bright (she was accelerated through school and graduated from college before 20), and artistic, like her mother. She was raised in a Jewish family where her father was a third generation German Jew and her mother was a first generation Eastern European Jew.
Marion and her sisters went to public elementary and high schools in the Flatbush area of Brooklyn. Marion commuted daily to NYU and graduated with a degree in Arts & Crafts and the qualifications to teach in the public schools. She learned everything from making metal jewelry to creating clay sculpture and pottery, from oil and water painting to making mosaics to doing woodwork. She was an expert seamstress, made her children’s and her own clothes, knit and crocheted sweaters, upholstered furniture, and painted murals. She enjoyed experimenting with all sorts of arts media to express herself and decorate her world.
Marion met Bernard Bender, four years her senior and right out of the navy and fell in love. They married on August 1, 1950. After first living in an apt in Brooklyn, where they had their first child, Leslie, Marion and Bernie soon moved out to Plainview, Long Island, where she had Cliff and Steven. In 1959, Bernie got a job working in Pennsylvania and Marion was left to care for the house and children by herself for at least 6 months. In 1960 the family moved to Allentown, Pa, where although it was a big adjustment to be out of NYC and away from family, Marion ended up being probably the happiest in her life. She made friends with all the young families on the street and they used to socialize as couples and as a group. After a stop in Wheeling WV, the family moved to Cleveland OH where they had their last child, Robert. Following brief stays in La Crosse WI and Jacksonville NC, the family settled in Fayetteville, NC where Bernie started his own business. As the business expanded, Marion worked with him doing office work and the payroll at first and then running their clothing outlet stores, one adjacent to the sewing factory and then another in a mall.

They retired together and moved to the Forest at Duke, a retirement facility in Durham NC, where they were some of the first residents. Marion was the youngest person there at 61. She and Bernie were active participants in Forest activities. They enjoyed educational programs both on site and at Duke, and joined other residents in attending local arts programs.

Marion loved doing crossword puzzles. She and Bernie (deceased 2019) always did the Sunday New York Times puzzles, but after she retired, she added the daily NYT puzzles to her routine. Things became considerably more difficult for her after she had a major stroke. Her deteriorating condition required them to move from their independent living cottage to Olsen’s assisted living accommodations and then to skilled nursing, before she moved in August 2019 to the memory care unit.

Marion is survived her four children, Leslie Bender (Peter Sandwall, deceased) of Syracuse NY, Cliff Bender (Alice Garcia Bender) of Fayetteville, NC, Steven Bender (Jim Norlie, deceased) of Monmouth OR and Robert Bender (Lory Myerson) of NY, NY. She has grandchildren from coast to coast: Benjamin Saller (Jola Hyjek), Rachael Saller Bender, Alida Misimi (Rebekah Williams Misimi), Nana Sang Bender, Jonathan Farmer (Rasha Rahman), Melissa K. Bender, Michael Bender (Shenandoah Hellman), Brian Bender (Kelsey Jessup), Jesse Bender, and Zach Bender. She is also survived by nine great grandchildren: Adeline, Calvin, Rain, Viva, Ziasia, Raphael, Fifi, Amani, and Amabella. Last, but not least, she was Aunt Marion to her 9 nieces and nephews, their life partners, children, and grandchildren.

The family is still considering how best to celebrate Marion’s life. You are welcome to leave remembrances here.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Marion Dorita Bender, please visit our flower store.

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