Local Obits

Obituary of Susan Mary Sloan Bender


Susan Mary Sloan Bender died late in the evening of October 26, 2023, from complications of illnesses.

Susan was born in Cortland, New York to Robert W. Sloan and Ruth Long Sloan on January 9, 1938.

When Sue was a youngster her mother discovered her affinity for music, and at an early age Sue was taking private piano lessons. She continued through high school at which time she was accepted in the music school at Syracuse University. After graduation she applied and was accepted into the music school at the University of Texas, Austin Texas to study under the well-known pianist, Dalies Frantz. After her first year she returned home for the summer, met and married her lifelong husband, Lee. And the couple returned for her second year to complete her master’s degree in piano performance. The next year the couple moved to the Netherlands, where Lee had won a Fulbright Grant to study aerial mapping. Upon completion of the grant they returned to Syracuse, New York where Lee joined the faculty of the Civil Engineering Dept of Syracuse University. From Syracuse the couple moved to Columbus Ohio, back to Syracuse, then on to Reston, Va. At each location Susan established a studio to teach piano.

When Lee retired, the couple moved to Smith Mountain Lake where they built a house. There being few opportunities to teach piano at the lake, Sue decided to try her hand as a Real Estate Agent; at which she was quite successful. In 2015, owing to Lee’s illnesses the couple moved to Lynchburg, Va.

She leaves her husband Lee Uhrig Bender of 62 years, 2 sons, Jonathan (Rebecca) and Dirk (Meg); four grandchildren, Lauren (Behrens), Jarrett, Clara, and Emma; a niece Kathy Butts Lent; and grandnieces Amanda (Swartwout) and Alisha (Clark).

A visitation will be held at the Chapel of Riccardi Funeral Home on Saturday Dec 9, 2023 from 1:30-2:30 p.m. Interment will follow at 3 p.m. at Cortland Rural Cemetery, 110 Tompkins St. Cortland, NY, 13045.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests making donations to the American Cancer Society (National Home Office) in memory of Susan Mary Sloan Bender. www.riccardifuneralhome.com

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