Christian 12

Marlene R. Bender

June 28, 1935 ~ September 9, 2020 (age 85) 85 Years Old



Marlene Ruth (Pflughoeft) Bender, age 85, of Winona, passed away Wednesday, September 9, 2020 at Lake Winona Manor.  Marlene was born June 28, 1935 to Arthur and Katherine (Martin) Pflughoeft of Winona.  She married Donald J. Bender, Sept. 25, 1954.  They now can be together again to celebrate what would've been 66 years of marriage.

Marlene is survived by her son: Robert (Robin) Bender; daughters: Kate (Dennis) Hengel and Karen (Daniel) Paszkiewicz; seven grandchildren: Michael (Jamie) Hengel, Andy Hengel, Aaron (Heidi) Stangl, Alysa (Mike) Ressler, Ariana (Jake) Bender, Kelly (Jeremy) Kruchten, Katie Paszkiewicz; 11 great-grandchildren: Colton, Easton and Bryson Hengel; Caitlyn, Preston and Sierra Stangl; Kollyn, Kaiden and Aubryana Alwes; Cooper Kruchten; and Trysten Perrigo; brother: Martin (Susie) Pflughoeft; brother-in-law: Roger (Sandy) Erickson; as well as other relatives, nieces and nephews.  She was preceded in death by her parents; sister, Marie Erickson; and her late, loving and devoted husband Donald.

She was formerly employed by Benson Optical, many part-time jobs over the years, Shorty's, Kids Korner Pizza, JCP and a book-keeper for years.  In her later "retired" years, she even worked at KOA campground where they camped and eventually lived.  Marlene was a loving wife, mother and grandmother.  While working part time jobs, she made sure she was home when her children returned from school.

Marlene, in her youth, played in the Edstrom's Accordion Band.  A lifelong member and student of St. Martin's Lutheran Church and School, she was involved with the church circle and ladies guilds.  She enjoyed participating in the annual fall bazaar for church.  Her faith and family were most important to Marlene.

Marlene loved camping with her family, and dancing polkas and waltzes with her husband.  Marlene loved to shop, collect chickens, have card parties, cook-outs, drink coffee and eat donuts/treats with good friends.  Even later in her life she enjoyed toe tapping to Monday Music at the Manor.

Visitation will be held from 10 AM until the funeral service at 11 AM on Monday, September 14, 2020, at St. Martin’s Evangelical Lutheran Church.  The Reverend Richard A. Moore will officiate.  Marlene will be laid to rest in Woodlawn Cemetery.  Those attending are required to wear masks, and to follow social distancing guidelines.  There will be no luncheon.

In lieu of flowers, the family is asking for any donations to be made to Lake Winona Manor.  With grateful hearts, we thank them for the care and support mom had during her time there.

Please visit to leave online condolences, view Marlene’s tribute video, and when available, a video stream of her funeral service.

A duet was sung by Marlene and Don, which holds great fondness for the family,,,I Will Be An Angel Too.  "You know I love you true, we will meet again some day, I will be an angel too."   Rest in peace Whoopie...We will miss you!  Love, your family.

Watkowski-Mulyck Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.


To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Marlene R. Bender, please visit our floral store.

Funeral Service

Committal Service

 Service Program


September 14, 2020

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
St. Martin s Evangelical Lutheran Church (Winona)

Funeral Service
September 14, 2020

11:00 AM
St. Martin s Evangelical Lutheran Church (Winona)


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