Carolyn Bender, of Antigo, died Saturday, April 9, 2016 at her home under the care of her family and LeRoyer Hospice after a 24 year battle with cancer. She was 51 years old. She was born on March 23, 1965 in Green Bay, a daughter of Robert and Carol (Kmecheck) Duffeck of Townsend. She married Robert “Rob” Bender on December 29, 2012 at Waubee Lodge in Lakewood.
Carolyn was a registered nurse and worked 16 years in the obstetrics unit of Aspirus Langlade Hospital.
She served as president of the Lakewood-Townsend Ambulance Service while serving as an EMT. She was certified as a Red Cross CPR Trainer and was a leader for Women on Snow at Waubee Lodge, a fund raiser for the community.
She loved to travel, camp, hunt and fish. She enjoyed being outdoors and the Green Bay Packers.
Survivors include her husband, Rob; two sons, Jameson and Jonathon Smits both of Antigo; granddaughter, Avery Smits; her parents, Robert and Carol Duffeck; two step-sons, R. Brandon Bender and Richard Frisch both of Antigo; a step-daughter, Kattie (Brad) Conant of Antigo; eight step-grandchildren; two sisters, Colleen (James) Crawford of Kent, WA, Connie (Thomas) Chastine of Hampton, GA; brother, Charles (Barbara) Duffeck of Neenah.
She was preceded in death by her first husband, James L. Smits.
A funeral service will be held on Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the Bradley Funeral Home with Rev. Wes Jedras officiating. Visitation will be Wednesday from 3 to 6 p.m. at the funeral home.