Leona Bender, 97, died Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017, at UnityPoint Health-St. Luke's Hospital, Cedar Rapids, following a brief illness.
Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 15, at Goettsch Funeral Home, Monticello. Friends may call after 9:30 a.m. Wednesday at the funeral home. Interment will be at Cedar Memorial Park Cemetery, Cedar Rapids. Pastor Dave Raemisch will officiate the service.
Thoughts, memories and condolences may be left at www.goettschonline.com.
Leona is survived by her daughter, Betty Wurster, Cedar Rapids; a granddaughter, Laurie (Eric) Wurster, Janesville, Wis.; a stepson, James D. Bender, Sun City, Ariz.; two sisters, Betty (Norman) Hinrichs and Mildred Hinrichs, both of Monticello; and a brother, Ray (Lorna) Rieniets of Marion.
She was preceded in death by her parents; two husbands; a brother, Paul Rieniets; and a sister, Kathleen Streeper.
Leona Margaret Rieniets was born June 5, 1920, in Richland Township, Jones County, Iowa, the daughter of Gerhard and Margaret Guyan Rieniets. Leona received her early education in Richland Township School No. 4. She graduated from Monticello Community Schools, Class of 1938.
Leona Rieniets and Kenneth Brandt were married April 29, 1939, at First Baptist Church, Waterloo. The couple lived in Waterloo, where Leona was a bookkeeper and clerk at Red Cross Drug Store. The couple moved to Springville in 1961. Kenneth died unexpectedly on Nov. 26, 1962.
Leona worked at both grocery stores in Springville before she became a clerk at the Springville Post Office in 1964. She was appointed postmaster in 1975, retiring from the postal service in 1983.
Leona married James Bender on March 8, 1983, at Resurrection Lutheran Church in Scottsdale, Ariz. The couple lived in Monticello and spent many winters in Arizona. Jim preceded her in death on Aug. 30, 2005. Her faith and her family were the most important things in her life.