Daniel Bender, 86, of Sanibel, FL, formerly of West Milford, NJ, died Tuesday, July 30, 2019, in his summer home in Hendersonville, NC. He passed in peace, surrounded by his family and beloved rescue cat, Sylvester.
Born and raised on Staten Island, NY, Dan was the oldest child of Frederick and Helen Bender. Both of his parents were New York City school teachers and they passed their love of learning to Dan and his sisters, Anna Schaffer, Susan Bender (deceased) and Eugenia Greff.
Dan graduated from Pratt Institute and worked as an electrical engineer for 37 years at ITT, Defense Communications Division. Not long after starting work at ITT, he met Patricia Rue 60 years ago when their mothers set them up. Apparently the date went well and they married a year later. As newlyweds, Dan and Pat enjoyed picnic lunches at the top of a hill at High Crest Lake and ultimately built their home on that very spot. The couple enjoyed living there until 2004, when they moved to warmer climates.
A member of IEEE, Dan was always intrigued by the constant advances in technology and friends and neighbors would often see him adding antennas to their homes or tinkering with projects. He built the first television set he ever owned and spent much of his career working extensively on GPS satellites and prototypes. After retiring from ITT, Dan became a ham radio operator (KB2JSV) and served as a volunteer instructor to the City of Sanibel staff to teach them ham radio emergency communications. He enjoyed speaking with a regular group of "ham" friends as well as meeting new people and spent several hours each week chatting on the net. It became the family joke that Dad didn't talk much unless he made it electronically complicated.
Whenever he wasn't in his "radio shack", Dan found great pleasure in his gardens, specially growing roses and tomatoes at each home. He also became very knowledgeable about holistic nutrition and vitamin therapy.
Dan is lovingly survived by his wife of 59 years, Pat, as well as their children, Greg and Betsy Bender. Memorial services will be held in Hendersonville, NC and Sanibel, FL at a future date. He will be greatly missed by his family and friends. Donations to F.I.S.H. (http://donate.fishofsancap.org | F.I.S.H. of SANCAP, 2430 - B Periwinkle Way, Sanibel, FL 33957 | 239-472-4775) or Four Seasons Hospice (https://www.fourseasonsfdn.org/memorial-gift/circle-of-love/col-gift/ | Four Seasons for Life Foundation, 221 N. Main Street, Hendersonville, NC 28792 | 828-513-2440) in Dan's memory would be greatly appreciated by the Bender family.