Kevin Michael Bender, 63, of Delphi, died peacefully at his home at 10:48 p.m. on Wednesday, August 10, 2022, after a courageous seven-year battle with advanced prostate cancer.
Kevin was born on February 4, 1959 in Angola to Lavon and Rosemary (Miller) Bender. He graduated from DeKalb High School in 1977, then studied agricultural economics and education at Purdue University, where he met lifelong friends, was elected to the Mortar Board, and served as president of FarmHouse Fraternity. Since graduating in 1981, he has been a season ticket holder for Purdue Men’s Basketball. He then attended the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin.
He married Denise M. Hummel on July 5, 1986 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Delphi. Together they raised three sons, Kyle, Kris and Karson, who meant everything to Kevin.
Kevin had a successful career in community banking for over 40 years, priding himself above all on helping local farmers with whom he shared a lot in common. He came to Carroll County in 1981 to work at Camden State Bank. In 1992 he joined the Bank of Wolcott and was later promoted to Chairman and Chief Executive in 2010. During his tenure as CEO, the bank more than doubled in size and was considered one of the world’s largest banks. Indiana’s most financially sound and efficiently run businesses, while remaining deeply rooted in the community. Since March 2021, Kevin has served as Chairman of the Board and Advisor, which has provided more time to mentor young bankers while pursuing other interests, including an agricultural joint venture with his son Kris.
He considered himself a servant leader and was involved in countless business and civic organizations. He was the longtime treasurer of the Purdue FarmHouse Foundation, engaging with other alumni to support young men’s educational endeavors. He was a longtime board member and volunteer for Junior Achievement of White County. At St. Joe’s, he served as chairman of the finance board, reader, and CCD religious instructor for the junior and senior classes.
Kevin was elected to the Carroll County REMC Board of Directors in 2008 and was instrumental in consoling Carroll White REMC, selected in 2017 to be its Chairman. In 2019, he was elected to the board of the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation (CFC), which brought new friends and expanded travel opportunities for him and Denise.
In a true labor of love, he also served as Denise’s handyman accountant cheerleader, as they owned and operated the Ready Set Go Children’s Center together for 25 years.
Surviving are his wife of 36 years, Denise M. Bender of Delphi; son, Kyle M. Bender (Kathleen) of Indianapolis, son, Kristopher M. Bender (Alanna) of Delphi, and son, Karson M. Bender (Brittney Burnett) of rural Delphi; and grandchildren, Kace Michael, Kolt Monroe and Khylar Mae.
Also survived by his father, Lavon M. Bender of Waterloo; father-in-law, Charles A. Hummel of Delphi; sister, Jacqueline M. Freeman (Troy) of Waterloo; brother-in-law, Calvin A. Hummel of Delphi; niece, Katherine Grate (Nick) of Waterloo; and his nephew, Rodney Freeman (Maggie) of Waterloo.
He was predeceased by his mother, Rosemary A. Bender, and stepmother, Nancy S. Hummel.
Visitations will be at the Wabash & Erie Canal Center in Delphi from 3-8 p.m. on Wednesday, August 17, with the recitation of the Rosary at 2:30 p.m.
A Christian burial mass will be held at 10 a.m. on Thursday August 18 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Delphi with Father David Buckles officiating. Burial will be in St. Joseph’s Catholic Cemetery, Delphi.
In lieu of flowers, the family strongly suggests memorial contributions to the following: Purdue Farm-House Foundation, St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, or Prostate Cancer Foundation.
Abbott Funeral Home, Inc., Delphi, is helping the family make arrangements. To view his obituary or send condolences to the family online, visit: www.abbottfuneralhome.com.