Andrew Forrest Bender
Last updated 1/21/2022 at 10:47am
Andrew Forrest Bender passed from this life on Dec. 16. Born Feb. 24, 1931, in Outremont, Montreal, Canada, he was the youngest child and only son of Virginia L'Esperance and Hector Bender.
A descendent of the French-Canadian explorer Louis Jolliet, his family history in North American goes back several centuries.
"Andre" received the French Baccalaureate from Stanislaus College in 1947 and an appointment to Royal Roads Canadian military college in Hatley Park, near Victoria, B.C. He liked to pose a riddle asking how was it that he was in "the navy" twice, first as an officer, then later as a "swabbie." (Drafted into the United States Navy after moving to the U.S., but before becoming a citizen, he could not be an officer in the U.S. military.)
Eventually receiving a degree from Oregon State University, Andrew worked at engineering jobs for utility companies, but his avocation as an active citizen was what actually consumed much of his time for many years. He served on various commissions and committees in Monterey County and in 2001 was recognized at a dinner in his honor where he received the first Active Citizen Award.
As a youth, although two years younger than many of his classmates, Andrew excelled in academics, with mathematics being his strength and creative writing his weakest subject. He thought he could not write until he found a passion in writing on issues of interest to him. He wrote numerous letters to the editor and even had a regular weekly column in a local newspaper in Monterey County.
In 2003, after his spouse had retired, the couple moved to East Ridge, a senior community in Fallbrook where Andrew again took up numerous volunteer duties to benefit his residential community. Moving to Fallbrook was a retirement choice and also a return to the county where he and his wife, Kathy, were married and where son Paul was born. It was at East Ridge where Andrew established his "virtual piano bar" sharing his interest and talent in music, playing the piano for old-fashioned sing-a-longs interspersed with a classical piece or two.
Preceded in death by his parents and four older sisters, Andrew leaves numerous nieces and nephews in Canada and in France in addition to his spouse and his son.
Friends are invited to join in remembrance of Andrew's life at 2 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 26 at Zion Lutheran Church, Fallbrook.