Geraldine Mae Bender, 88, passed away Monday, January 10, 2022, at her home in Willmar surrounded by her family. Her funeral will be 2:00 pm, Thursday, January 20th, at Church of Nazarene in Willmar with interment in Clover Leaf Cemetery. Visitation will be from 4-6 pm, Wednesday, January 19th at Harvey Anderson Funeral Home in Willmar and continue one hour prior to the service at the church. Memorials are preferred in lieu of flowers. www.hafh.org.
Geraldine was born April 25, 1933, in Atwater, the oldest child of Herman and Orel (Bomsta) Melgaard. She graduated from Atwater High School 1951.
In 1951 she was united in marriage to George Junkermeier and to this union were born five children: Trisha, Bradley, Jackie, Brian and Kathy. They were married for 19 years.
In December of 1975, she married Delbert Bender. They lived on the family farm near Pennock before retiring and moving into Willmar.
Gerry worked for Molenaar Plastics, Kmart and Lee’s Inn for a number of years but her true “job”, which was her blessing, was to be home to raise her children. She enjoyed vegetable and flower gardening, baking, cooking, sewing, knitting and singing. She was a very nurturing and compassionate person. She had the greatest smile when attending her children and grandchildren’s events. All those who knew her know that her legacy is her family.
Surviving are her children: Trisha (Jim) Bowers, Bradley (and special friend, Phyl Keil) Junkermeier, Jackie Kiklas, Brian (Denise) Junkermeier, Kathy (Larry) Bruess; and numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren. She is also survived by Delbert’s children: Joy (Jim) Nash, Delroy (Sharon) Bender, Vickie (Mark) O’Day and Mike (Sue) Bender; and her siblings: Dennis Melgaard, Bonnie (Craig) Raske.
She was preceded in death by her parents; and husband Delbert on February 15, 2014.