The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


January 5, 2014

Melba J. Bender

BRANSON, Mo. — Melba Jeane Bender, age 87, Branson, Mo., formerly of Joplin, passed away on Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014, in Branson.

Melba was born Dec. 21, 1926, in Greeley, Colo., daughter of the late Arthur Miller and Trella Eckert Miller. She grew up in Carthage where she attended school, and met Adolph "Joe" Bender, whom she married, and the couple moved to California. She worked as a bookkeeper for about 10 years while in California and they moved back to Missouri in the early 1970's.

Melba was an artist, and worked in glass blowing, where she created many items including jewelry and animals. She sold her work at local arts and crafts shows as well as having her work sold to Disney Land and Knott's Berry Farm for display. She was also very talented at drawing, painting, and writing poetry. She loved gardening, and was awarded "Most Beautiful Yard" award while in La Mirada, Calif.

In addition to her parents; Melba was preceded in death by her husband, Joe Bender, who died in 2002.

Survivors include her children, Rhonda Patterson and husband, Stan, of Branson, Robbie Musser and husband, Wayne, of Joplin, Bill Bender, of Henderson, Nev.; grandchildren, Wendy Martin, Richard Rasmussen, Jimmy Nail, Tracy Crissman, Karla Musser, Bill Bender, Jr., Hunter Bender and Mason Bender; and six great-grandchildren.

Funeral service will be Tuesday, Jan. 7, at 2 p.m. in Parker Mortuary Chapel with interment to follow in Park Cemetery, Carthage, Mo. The family will receive friends at Parker Mortuary on Tuesday from 1 p.m. until service time.

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