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Mathilde "Tillie" (Ziser) Bender

September 16, 1922 ~ June 7, 2019 (age 96)

Mathilde “Tillie” Bender, 96, of Milan, formerly of Rock Island, passed away Friday June 7, 2019 at Avonlea Cottages, Milan.

Services will be 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday at St. Ambrose Catholic Church, Milan. Visitation will be from 9:30-10:30 a.m. Tuesday at Wheelan Pressly Funeral Home and Crematory, Milan.

Burial is at Calvary Cemetery, Rock Island. Memorials may be left in Mathilde’s memory to the Alzheimer’s Association.

Tillie was born on September 16, 1922 in Freiburg, Germany, the daughter of Karl and Anna Ziser. She married Nick Bender on February 6, 1948 in Whyl, Germany. They left Germany in 1952 to make a new life in the United States. During their 63 year marriage, Tillie and Nick had many adventures. They raised three children, ran a successful painting and decorating business and made more friends than one can count. In 2010 Tillie was voted Grandmother of the Year.

Tillie and Nick traveled back to Germany to visit but were always happy to get back “home” to Rock Island. They were members of St. Pius X Catholic Church, Rock Island for over 40 years. After Nick passed in 2011, Tillie moved to Milan and joined St. Ambrose Catholic Church.

Survivors include her two daughters, Marianne (Douglas) McGinnis, Sandwich, IL, Barbara (David) Hartman, Milan; son, Franz (Mary) Bender, Milan; five loving grandchildren, Nicholas (Stephanie) McGinnis, Montgomery, IL, Joseph (Shereen) Bender, Marion, IA, Meagin (Brad) McManus, Washington, IL, Matthew (Mallory) Hartman, Bloomington, IL, Brooke (Mike) Viergutz, Bloomington, IL; nine great grandchildren and one on the way.

Our family would like to thank Avonlea Cottage in Milan for the love, compassion and respect that they gave Tillie for more than seven years. They made a home for her and loved her as if she were their own family member.

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