Howard J. Bender, age 88 of Lancaster, passed away Sunday May 10, 2020 from complications of COVID-19 at Orchard Manor Nursing Home, rural Lancaster. He was born May 21, 1931 in Boscobel, WI, the son of John and Hilda (Adkins) Bender, of Woodman, WI. Growing up on the family farm in Woodman, Howard farmed and hauled milk. Howard hauled milk by the can, and later with a bulk milk truck. He was employed with Conley Cut cheese factory in Woodman, Schurman Bros. Butter & Cheese in Lancaster, and Wisconsin Dairies. Howard married Irene Hoffland on June 1, 1955, and they were blessed to have nearly 65 years of marriage. Together they farmed with Howard's brother Virgil, until 1973, when they moved to Lancaster. He continued driving a milk truck route, until his retirement. In his retirement, Howard enjoyed jigsaw puzzles and bought two John Deere tractors that he restored, which became his pride and joy. He also enjoyed watching the Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Brewers, and listening to music. Howard was a member of the Christ Lutheran Church in Lancaster. He dearly loved his family and keeping up with their activities.
Surviving is his loving wife, Irene; their children: Rachel (Dick) Riemenapp, Jake (Laurie) Bender, Ken (Yvonne) Bender, Becky (Scott) Edwards, and Douglas Bender; seven grandchildren: Alex Riemenapp, Michelle (Scott) Wehnke, Stephanie Larson, Zachary (Megan), Myles, Macie and Myleigh Bender; five great-grandchildren: Parker, Paxton, Avery, Dryden Freya; and his beloved dogs: Tanner and Molly.
In addition to his parents, Howard was preceded in death by his brother Virgil.
A celebration of Howard's Life will be held at a future date, which will be announced. A private family graveside ceremony will be held in Hillside Cemetery at a later date. Martin Schwartz Funeral Home & Crematory in Lancaster is assisting the family.
The family would like to thank Pastor David Froemming for his many prayers and visits and for bringing great polka music for him to enjoy. The family also would like to thank Orchard Manor for their great care and compassion.