School 07

Harriette Louise (Deaver) Bender

November 20, 1928 ~ November 27, 2020 (age 92)


Harriette “Louise” (Deaver) Bender, age 92, formerly of Viola, Wisconsin, passed away peacefully with family by her side at Vernon Memorial Hospital in Viroqua, Wisconsin on Friday, November 27, 2020.  Louise was born on November 20, 1928 to Nina E. Ames Deaver and Harry L. Deaver in her Grandmother Mary Bell Clift Ames’ home in Mound Park, Viola, Wisconsin. In 1930, her brother Billy was born.  She was a graduate of Viola High School, Class of 1946.  For the next year, she worked at the Viroqua Dairy Bar.  Louise married Byron H. Bender in 1947. They were married for 52 years.  They had three children, one son: Gregory Keith and two daughters: Roxanne Marie and Lynn Louise.  In 1957, Louise graduated from Vernon County Normal Teachers College and began her teaching career in the one room Sugar Grove Country School.   She received her Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse in 1963.  Louise opened up the first Special Education classroom for the Kickapoo Area School District in Readstown, Wisconsin.  She retired in 1990 from the Madison Metropolitan School District after a 33-year teaching career.  Louise continued to stay in touch with students she had taught.  Education was very important to her.  She always encouraged her family and those she met to reach for their dreams and further their education if they had the opportunity.  She had a great love of family, quilting, music, and dancing.  Louise enjoyed quilting for years and made special quilts for each of her children and grandchildren. She also taught quilting to her friends at the Viola Nutrition Site.  Throughout the years Louise and Byron made numerous trips together around the United States. After Byron’s passing, Louise continued her love of travel and exploring historical sites with family and friends.  She made many good friends while taking bus trips with Cherry and Tim Brown of B&B Travel.  Louise was a member of the Viola United Methodist Church, being baptized on May 31, 1998.  She was also a proud member of the Viola American Legion Auxiliary, Post #447 for 70 years.  Louise’s children and grandchildren were her life. Each and every one of them held a very special place in her heart.

Louise is survived by her children:  son, Gregory Bender; daughter, Lynn (Lee) Cunningham; son-in-law, Gary Hoke.  She is also survived by her Grandchildren: Greg’s sons: Eric (Christina) and Matthew (Anne); Roxanne’s children: Jaclynn (Jason), Julie (Mandy), Katy (Derek), and Trevor (Brittany); Lynn’s daughter: Jessie.  Great Grandchildren include: Andrew, Dane, Dalton (Victoria), Jadynn, Blake, Max, Dekker, Ari, and one Great-Great Grandson: Eli.  Other survivors include:  nephews William (Wendy) Deaver, Robert (Chris) Deaver; her second family - the children of Nick and Juanita Cina; sisters-in-law Florence “Jo” Bender Martinelli, Patricia Bender, and Carol Bender, as well as, many nephews, nieces, cousins, and dear friends.

Louise was preceded in death by her husband Byron in 1999, daughter Roxanne Marie Hoke in July 2020, parents Nina (Bill) Ames Deaver Wiser and Harry (Pearl) Deaver, and brother William (Emma) Deaver.

Louise’s family would like to thank the staff at Creamery Creek Assisted Living Facility, as well as the staff at Vernon Memorial Hospital.  A very special thank you to Dr. James DeLine and Dr. Shawn Sedgwick of La Farge Medical Clinic for their many years of care and compassion. 

Due to the current COVID pandemic, services will be held at a later date.  In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made out to Viola United Methodist Church, Viola United Methodist Women, or Viola American Legion Auxiliary – Post #447.

The Thorson Funeral Home & Cremation Service of Viroqua is proudly serving the family. 

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