Ruth Elinor Jardine Bender, child of God, was born April 23, 1917, the middle child of Dr. and Mrs. George Andrew Jardine in New Virginia, Iowa, and died Dec. 21, 2012, in LaGrange, Ga. She attended grammar and high schools in New Virginia where she played the cello in the orchestra and was a member of the girl high school basketball team. She graduated from Iowa State College (now University) with a degree in institutional management. She worked as a director of tea rooms after her marriage to Charles Richard Bender on Dec. 23, 1040. He preceded her in death in 1964.
When her husband completed his doctorate degree they moved to Boston, Mass., where their son Stephen Richard was born. They later moved to Teaneck, N.J. where her two daughters, Andrea Bender Arquitt and Karen Bender Cooper, were born.
She spent an adventurous nine months with three small children in Rodeo, N.M. while Dr. Bender was assigned to Australia after which the family moved to Atlanta, Ga. She lived in Atlanta until 2007 when she moved to Vernon Woods Retirement Center in LaGrange, Ga.
She was a 62-year member of Peachtree Presbyterian Church in Atlanta where she served as Sunday School Superintendent, Bible teacher for her circle in Presbyterian women, circle chair, was one of the first two women deacons elected to serve at Peachtree, was a member of the Martha Wilson Bible Class and was honored with a Life Membership in Presbyterian Women.
She was an active participant in Senior University in Atlanta where she served a term as president. She was also a bridge player enjoying the game until November of this year. She was surrounded by many friends wherever she lived.
After the death of her husband she worked for Coca-Cola in a test kitchen and was sent to several countries in Central and South America to test products. In addition to business travel, she traveled internationally for pleasure for many years.
She was preceded in death by her husband, parents, sister and brother as well as many close friends. She is survived by her son Stephen and daughter-in-law Donna and their children Amy, Rick (Mitze), Stephen and Elizabeth Bender, her daughter Andrea and son-in-law Ed Arquitt and their children George (Carrie) Arquitt and Karen (David) Butler and her daughter Karen and son-in-law Joe Cooper and their children Allison (David) Malady and Jeff (Pam) Cooper as well as eight great-grandchildren: Jake Bender, Tyler and Ashley Butler, Katherine and Ansley Arquitt, Maggie Malady, and Nuria and Nicholas Cooper. She is also survived by her nephew George Kralik.
Services were held on Friday, Dec. 28, 2012, at First Presbyterian Church, LaGrange followed by graveside services at Arlington Cemetery in Atlanta, Ga. A memorial service was held at Peachtree Presbyterian Church, Atlanta on Saturday, Dec. 29.
Anyone wishing to honor her memory may make a contribution to Presbyterian Women, Peachtree Presbyterian Church, 3434 Roswell Road NW, Atlanta, Georgia 30305.