Rhea B. Bender, 100, died peacefully on July 16, 2021.

It is difficult to describe this feisty, courageous woman who lived for her family, was a voracious reader and imbued her children with a love of learning and empathy for others. She had an infectious laugh, a beautiful singing voice (she was invited to sing on the radio, but had to work to support her single mother and younger sister) and was a frustrated architect at heart. And how she loved to watch the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Chicago Cubs! She enjoyed an amazing, long life, due in no small part to the loving care provided during the last 16 years in the home of her daughter, Susan and son-in-law, Dave.

Rhea was born in Akron, Ohio and raised in Cleveland. In 1945, she moved with her family to Phoenix, where she started a job in the secretarial pool of the Valley National Bank. In 1946, she met the love of her life, David S. Bender, at a dance. They married in 1947, and over the years, had three daughters, Laura, Margery and Susan. Rhea took care of the kids while Dave was on the road for work, including stints in Duncan, Safford, Tucson and Scottsdale.

Rhea is preceded in death by her husband, David; her mother, Sally; and her younger sister, Shirley. She is survived by three daughters, one son-in-law, three grandsons, two great-grandsons, a niece and nephew, one great-niece and three great-nephews. She will be deeply missed by all.

A small graveside service was held at Paradise Memorial Gardens in Scottsdale on Tuesday, July 20th. In memory of Rhea, please consider a donation to the American Diabetes Association or Barrow Neurological Institute. Arrangements by Sinai Mortuary.