On Dec. 17, 2020, Texas resident of 25 years, and native Minnesotan, Todd Edward Bender, passed away at his home in Taylor, surrounded and held by loving family members. He fought lung cancer for nine months. After completing most of his bucket list and preparing his loved ones for life after, he left this world when he was ready.
Todd was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, July 9, 1957, to William F. (Bill) Bender and Karen Rae McCorkell Bender. His birth was followed by brother Layne and sister Tracy. The family also included step siblings, Deborah, Larry and Gary. The blended Bender family was full of love, hijinks, chaos, excitement, order and high expectations. They lived a large life.
Todd was a gifted, popular student. He attended Tartan High School in St. Paul and excelled in his studies, ski jumping and, especially, as a drummer in school jazz and stage bands.
Two months after graduating in 1975, Todd joined the U.S. Air Force to see the world and, also, to give his family a break from his newly formed streak of independence and teenage rebelliousness. Todd thrived and he and his family remained close to the very end.
For 20 years Todd served his country with honor and distinction, first as a security specialist for six years then transferring to MWR Club Management and Superintendent Services for his final 14 years. He served tours in England and South Korea. In all fields he was an especially competent instructor and course designer. While in the Air Force Todd graduated with a BS in business admin and hospitality management from Wayland Baptist University. He retired as a senior master sergeant in 1995.
As a new civilian, Todd investigated a variety of career fields. None of them felt right or offered the rewards and regimentation that he had become used to in the Air Force. It was while having a discussion with his financial advisor that he became intrigued by the financial industry. Several interviews later, Todd had a new name tag and a new career as a financial advisor with Ameriprise. He struggled. He worked hard. He studied and was tested until, finally, he was fully licensed. He served as a financial advisor, a district manager and then in Cedar Park and Round Rock, he was an independent Ameriprise franchisee. His clients were devoted to him. He loved his job and often said, “I feel good because I actually help people.”
Five months after his cancer diagnosis Todd retired from his 20-year career with Ameriprise. The new RV, that was intended to take Todd, and his wife Bonni, on extended trips of discovery and relaxation, sits unused in their driveway.
We mourn because Todd is no longer with us, but we celebrate and are so thankful that he shared his very real, exciting, imperfect life with us.
Todd was preceded in death by his father, William F. (Bill) Bender.
Todd is survived by his wife of 20 years, Bonni Rains of Taylor; daughter, Tori Schumacher and her husband Tom Schumacher of Denver, Colorado; daughter, Devan Bonahoom and her husband Sami Bonahoom of Fair Oaks Ranch; stepson, Ray Austin and his partner Kathy Karshis of Thrall; mother, Karen Rae McCorkell Bender Davis of Langley, Washington; grandchildren, Dane Olsen, Isla Bonahoom, Eden Bonahoom, Colton Austin, Jack Schumacher, Surrey Schumacher; siblings and their spouses, Layne Bender and wife Pat, Tracy Bender and husband Jeff Runnfeldt, Deborah Semrau and husband Bill, Larry Bender and wife Vicky, Gary Bender and wife Sharon; numerous nieces, nephews and beloved canine companions Ethel and Lucy.
Due to the SARS-COVID-19 pandemic, no services will be held at this time. A Celebration of Todd’s Life is being planned for the summer of 2021.