Arvilla A. Bender, 81, Cresson, peacefully passed away Sunday at UPMC Altoona, surrounded by her family.
She was born in Cresson, daughter of the late Leo and Mae (Brawley) Freidhof. She married Joseph Bender on Sept. 7, 1957, at St. Francis Xavier Church in Cresson, and he passed away on Feb. 13, 2003.
Surviving are four children: Randal (Debra Janicki-Farkas) of Delmont, Jed (Renee VanGuilder) of Harrisburg, Mari Ann Eberhart (Ron) of Altoona and Chris (Terri Ochranek) of Altoona; 10 grandchildren: Miranda and Chad Bender, both of Delmont, Jerad, Taylor and Ryan Bender of Harrisburg, Robby (Amanda Welsh), Cory (Katie Holtz) and Matthew Eberhart of Altoona and Josh and Zac (Sarah Guthrie) Bender, both of Altoona; three step-grandchildren, Nadia Farkas-Speney (Tim) and Jimmy and John Smith; two great-grandchildren, Connor and Quinn Eberhart; a brother, Clement (Mary Ellen) Freidhof of Altoona; and a sister, Coletta Long of Cresson.
Arvilla was employed at St. Francis University, Loretto, from 1950-58, as an aide at Penn Cambria from 1971-84, as a devoted aide at Miss Marie's St. Aloysius Pre-School from 1989 to time of closing in 2006 and as an aide at Little Saints Pre-School from 2006-12.
Arvilla dearly loved her family of wonderful children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. After the death of her Joe, her happiness was being with her family, her extended Bender family and the pre-school kids. She was a member of the Mainline Angel Tree Committee and Cresson Area Women's Club.
Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013, where the Legion of Mary will recite the rosary at 3 p.m., followed by a vigil service, and 9:30 until 10:30 a.m. Thursday Sept. 5, 2013, at Gibbons Funeral Home, 301 Church St., Gallitzin. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013, at St. Aloysius Catholic Church, Cresson, where Arvilla was a member, the Very Rev. John Byrnes celebrant. Committal will be at the church cemetery.
The family suggests donations be made in Arvilla's memory to Mainline Angel Tree c/o Helen Wright, 1123 Coach Road, Lilly, PA 15938.