Carol A. Bender, 62, passed away on Wednesday, April 20, 2011, in Prosser.

Carol was born Feb, 12, 1949 in Sunnyside to C.M. "Curly" Jerome and Phyllis (Blackwell) Jerome.

Carol attended a number of schools in the Lower Valley, including Sunnyside Christian, Wendell Phillips, Sunnyside and Mabton high schools and finally Grandview High School, where she graduated with the class of 1967.

Carol married Harold Bender on Sept. 21, 1965 in Lewiston, Idaho. The two moved to Mabton, where they raised a family for 13 years before moving to Grandview in 1978.

Carol became an Avon representative in 1990 and retired in 2011.

She attended many churches in the Lower Valley including the First Baptist Church of Sunnyside, Grace Brethren Church of Grandview, Salvation Army Church of Grandview and Calvary Baptist Church of Prosser.

Carol was a member of the Sunnyside Eagles and was a Camp Fire Leader for 20 years.

She enjoyed selling Avon, singing, reading, spending time with her grandchildren, finding treasures at local thrift stores, embroidering, needle point and other crafting projects.

Carol is survived by her husband, Harold C. Bender; two daughters, April (Ric) Lee Garcia of Sunnyside and Michelle (Dennis) Gaston of Goldendale; 10 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren; and one sister, May Kramer of Overland Park, Kansas.

She was preceded in death by her parents; and one son, Jerome Michael Bender.

Viewing and visitation will be held Thursday, April 28, 2011, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday, April 29, 2011, from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at Smith Funeral Home in Sunnyside. Funeral services will be held Friday, April 29, 2011, at 11 a.m. at Smith Funeral Home in Sunnyside, with burial to follow at Grandview Cemetery.

Memorials honoring Carol may be given to Lower Valley Hospice and to the Prosser Fire Department.

Those wishing to sign Carol's on-line memorial book may do so at

Smith Funeral Home LTD and Crematory in Sunnyside is in charge of arrangements.


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