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“I was a childhood friend and classmate of Orpha. I recognized Mrs. Bender in the paper this week because her smile and eyes were the same as Orpha's...Read More »
1 of 7 | Posted by: Linda Plank Huber - Wellman, IA

“I shall always remember Aunt Lizzie's warm smile and warm hospitality. In that way, she always reminded me of her mother and my mother. I always...Read More »
2 of 7 | Posted by: Ervin Stutzman - Harrisonburg, VA

“Our thoughts and Prayers are with you and your family. ”
3 of 7 | Posted by: Bambie Seal - Shana Telford- Ariell Greene - Rosalynne Fluty - LA

“We were so sorry to hear about Elizabeth's passing and wish we could be there on Friday. We are thinking about you all and send our prayers and love...Read More »
4 of 7 | Posted by: Chantae Hoffman

“Dear John, Dorothy and family, Elizabeth will always be fondly remembered in our hearts. The way she and John loved and supported our family has...Read More »
5 of 7 | Posted by: Mark and Debbie Hendrickson and family - MO

“Elizabeth was the most beautiful person I know. But Im sure you know this. She set a great example for everyone. I only wish I had her faith. Bless...Read More »
6 of 7 | Posted by: Rhonda Woods - Crawfordsville, IA

“I am sorry for your loss, yet grateful that our paths had crossed. Although I did not know Elizabeth very long I was touched by her kind words. It...Read More »
7 of 7 | Posted by: Maureen Vasile - Kalona, IA


Elizabeth Bender, 90, of Kalona, left the loving arms of her family to be embraced by her Lord and Saviour on February 2, 2013. She is survived by her husband, John, of 64 years, and her daughter and son-in-law, Bob and Dorothy Simmering, and her sister-in-law and friend, Elva Bender. One of Elizabeth's greatest joys was visiting with and talking about four grandchildren, Marcia (Steve) Dickerson of Ruston, LA, Nathan and Jennifer Simmering of Muscatine, IA, Vanessa (Andy) Best of Madison, WI, and Erin (Grant) Elliott of West Branch. She was especially proud of her 8 great-grandchildren ages 1 through 9.
Also surviving are her brother John Nisly of Shipshewana, IN, a sister, Barbara Yoder of Partridge, KS, and 2 brothers, Fred Nisly and Raymond (Mary) Nisly of Hutchinson, KS.
She was preceded in death by her daughter, Orpha Mae, in 1966, her father, Levi Nisly, her mother and step-father, Mary and Noah Nisly, her oldest sister, Emma Stutzman, her younger brother, Henry Nisly, both of Hutchinson, KS and her youngest brother Rufus Nisly of Goshen, IN .
She also had very special and lasting friendships with Grace Miller of Kalona, Rozy Brasnett of Alberta, Canada, Iantha Goshgarian of Soquel, CA (her gradeschool friend with whom she remained in contact) and the late Jane Gingerich of Kalona.
Elizabeth was loved and respected by all. In addition to hosting hundreds of visitors in her home over the decades, she volunteered at Pleasantview Home in Kalona, the Crowded Closet in Iowa City, and visited shut-ins in the Washington area. She copied and handed out hundreds of cassette tapes of the Word to anyone who desired them.
Two of Elizabeth's greatest loves, after the Bible and her relationship with the Lord, were her garden and her quilting. She was a very talented pioneer woman who could bake, cook, can and create anything from scratch. Many people enjoyed her home cooked meals and travelled great distances to bask in her hospitality. She helped many in need, taking meals to families, giving gifts, providing assistance whenever possible.
She stayed in touch with her many friends, cousins, and family members by writing and receiving letters.
Funeral services will be held on Friday, February 8 at 10:00 AM at the First Christian Church at 301 W. 2nd, Washington, IA. A time of fellowship will follow the service with lunch being served. The family requests memorial donations through the church in Elizabeth's name in lieu of flowers.