Michael S. Bender

April 3, 2020

CHARLOTTE – Michael Swift Bender, 82, died Friday, April 3, 2020 at Atrium Health – Pineville following an extended illness. Mike was born in Bloomington, Illinois and grew up in Rock Hill, South Carolina. He was a graduate of Winthrop Training School. Mike earned a BSME degree from Duke University in 1959.

Mike would enjoy a career with Celanese for thirty-three years while living in Rock Hill, Greenville, SC and Charlotte. He was a member of Faith Presbyterian Church in Indian Land and a member of the Charlotte Indoor Racquet Club.

Mike was a devoted husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Carol T. “Pinky” Bender; three children, Louise Lynette Bender of St. Paul, MN, Katherine Swift Bender Braun of Pottstown, PA and David Michael Bender of Indian Land, SC; six grandchildren, Elizabeth and Jiahong Bender, Michael and Thomas Braun and James and Caroline Bender; and three great-grandchildren, Jace Swift Braun, Grayson Michael Braun and Chloe Marie Braun.

In addition to his parents, Mike was preceded in death by a daughter, Barbara Carol Bender and his sister, Barbara Ann Bender Noel.

A memorial service will be held at a later date.

Memorials can be sent to Faith Presbyterian Church, 7520 Charlotte Hwy, Indian Land, SC 29707.

Arrangements are in the care of Kenneth W. Poe Funeral & Cremation Service, 1321 Berkeley Ave., Charlotte, NC 28204; (704) 641-7606. Online condolences can be shared at www.kennethpoeservices.com.

Share your memories & condolences


  • Ken Hazen

    We were so sorry to learn about Mike's passing. It had been a while since we saw you at a Duke game but we still kept looking. We are sure this is difficult for you under any circumstance but especially with the pandemic. I hope we can attend a memorial service at some point in the future.
    Ken & Elaine

  • Paul Gettys

    To Pinky: I noticed Mike's obituary in the Observer on Sunday. I wanted to extend my sincere condolences to you and your children. We have fond memories of the Bender family in the Rock Hill church and appreciate both of you being strong witnesses in various churches where you have been located. I know this is a difficult time, made even more difficult by the virus situation and the limitations on gatherings and personal communication. I am thinking of you and your family.

    Paul Gettys

  • Ron Bryant

    Oh Pinky, I am so sorry to learn of Mike's passing. You may not remember me, but I worked at FI and HCC for 321/2 years and knew Mike there. I met you at some of our big events.
    Mike was one of the very best of our work community and I'm sure he lived that way after we retired.
    If you are keeping a list, please let me know when a memorial service is scheduled...after this virus crisis is past.

  • Chuck Powers

    Sorry to hear about Mike’s passing. He looked good and seemed to be in good spirits when I talked to him at the last CFA Lunch and Learn. I knew Mike as far back as 1966 when he was at the Greenville Plant. Back then we considered ourselves Fiber Industries and didn’t want to admit that we were part of Celanese.

    Mike was a great guy, always cooperative and willing to help any way he could.

  • Mike Taylor

    Of all the people i met at Greenville plant, Mike was the one I most liked and admired for his sincerity and morality. I still remember him with deep affection, and wish to pass my condolences to his family.

  • John Sattizahn

    My condolences to you and your family and you are in my prayers. I enjoyed working with Mike at Celanese DRP and his dovotion to Duke basketball discussed over many a lunch together in the cafeteria. It holds a special place in my career. I remember just as his picture with that grin on his face and quiet humor. Take care.

  • Martha Beckham Morgan

    Pinky, Lou, Kay, and David, I'm so sorry for your loss. You are all in my prayers. I plan to attend the memorial service if you can email me the date and time. Take care of yourselves during this difficult time.

  • Gloria Clement

    My sympathy to Pinky and David and all the Benders. Mike was the kindest sweetest man ever. He will be missed by all who knew him!

  • Janet Bershers

    Keeping Pinky and the entire Bender Family close in heart and prayer for the loss of our beloved Mike. We will miss you dearly Mike. May there be comfort in knowing that someone so special will never be forgotten ❤️.

  • Ronald A Reingardt

    Mike and I had many conversations at choir rehearsals and at Sunday morning Church services.

    I liked Mike from the first day I met him over 12 years ago. We had a lot in common including
    being of the same age.

    I will miss him very much as will his family and many others

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