First Sergeant Kenneth L. Bender, age 87, of Marysville, passed away on Saturday, March 2, 2019, at Crestview Nursing and Residential Living in Seneca. Kenny, as he was known by his friends, was born in Polo, Illinois on April 27, 1931, the of William and Ethyl Bender. Kenneth graduated from Polo Community High School in 1949, and was initially employed as a welder for Central Quality Industries. Kenneth married the former Florella Kline on December 6, 1969, at the Evangelical United Methodist Church in Polo, Illinois. Kenny entered military service in the US Army on March 23, 1951 at Fort Sheridan, Illinois. Sergeant Bender served in both the Korean Conflict and in Vietnam. Sergeant Bender was a Life Member of the VFW, American Legion, 2nd Infantry Division, 9th Infantry Division, 4th Infantry Division, 12th Infantry Regiment, Retired Enlisted Association and Korean War Veterans Association. Kenneth loved his gardens and the many flowers he nurtured to life. During his last days these brought him much joy. This man loved life to its fullest, every single day. Survivors include Florella of Marysville, Kansas, two sons; Randy Bender of Mountain View, California and David Bender of Lake Havasu, Arizona. Kenneth left no grandchildren or great-grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his parents and a sister Erma Jean Bender. Graveside memorial services will be held on June 1, 2019, at Fairmount Cemetery, Polo, Illinois, starting at 11:00 am. Inurnment will be in the family lot at Fairmount Cemetery.