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Sheldon L. Bender, decorated WWII Army veteran, General Mills superintendent

July 4, 1924 – July 25, 2015

Sheldon L. Bender of East Amherst, a decorated World War II Army veteran and longtime General Mills superintendent, died Saturday at Hospice Buffalo in Cheektowaga. He was 91.

Born in Buffalo, he graduated from Kensington High School and attended the University of Buffalo. He served in the U.S. Army in the 70th Infantry during World War II, where he was recipient of several awards including the Bronze Star, European-African Middle Eastern Campaign with Bronze Star, WWII Victory Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge and Marksman with Rifle Bar.

Mr. Bender was packaging superintendent at General Mills from 1948 to 1982.

During a stay in Florida, he was president of the Melbourne Shore Home Owner Association and instrumental in sidewalks installed along Route A1A from Melbourne Shore to Sebastian Inlet and the building of the Brevard County Fire and Rescue Station No. 65. He also was a volunteer at the McLarty Treasure Museum in Vero Beach and a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post in Melbourne.

An expert craftsman, his hobbies included antique furniture repair and refinishing, furniture building, cuckoo clock repair and restoration, wood carving and painting.

Survivors include his wife of 66 years, the former Ruth E. Stunkel; two daughters, Sally Algera and Michelle Spencer; a brother, Donald; seven grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

A memorial service was held Tuesday in the Lombardo Funeral Home, Northtowns Chapel, 885 Niagara Falls Blvd., Amherst.

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