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Douglas Wayne Bender 1961 - 2020
Douglas Wayne Bender

Douglas Wayne Bender, 59, passed away Aug. 21, 2020, at his home in Great Bend. He was born Aug. 11, 1961, in Topeka, to Oscar and Mabel M. (Riemann) Bender. Doug married Karen (Meitler) May 28, 1998. Karen passed away July 15, 2003. He then married Linda (Kretzer) Oct. 29, 2011.

Doug, a long time Great Bend resident, was a member of First Presbyterian Church, Great Bend, and past board member of USD 428 school board and Suicide Prevention Task Force. His passion for umpiring, coaching, and broadcasting spanned over a time period of 40 years.  Most recently working for Central Kansas Radio-Rocking M Media, over the years his distinct knowledgeable broadcasting voice was aired for Barton Community College baseball, Ellinwood High School and Great Bend Chiefs baseball. His coaching and umpiring career stretched from Great Bend Recreation Commission youth leagues to high school to college level athletics. His contagious enthusiasm for sports helped shape the lives of many youth across the country. 

Survivors include his companion, Linda; five sons, Benjamin McDowell of Denver, Heath McDowell of Garden City, Blake McDowell of Provo, Utah, Tommy McDowell of Dumas, Texas and Dalton Bender of Great Bend; three daughters, Danica Bender of Emporia, Laura McDowell of Dumas, Texas and Audrianna Bender of Great Bend; and ten grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his son, Brandon D. Bender; parents; and wife, Karen.

Funeral services will be 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, at First Assembly of God Church, Great Bend, with Rev. Kathleen Luke presiding. Masks and social distancing are strongly suggested. Interment will follow at Great Bend Cemetery, Great Bend. Visitation will be from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020, with the family receiving friends from 5 to 7 p.m., at Bryant Funeral Home. Memorial contributions may be given to Great Bend American Legion Baseball or Great Bend Recreation Commission, in care of Bryant Funeral Home. Condolences may be sent and notice viewed at

Funeral arrangements provided by

Bryant Funeral Home

1425 Patton Road

Great Bend, KS   67530

Great Bend (Kan.) Tribune, Aug. 26, 2020