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Helen Bendure dies at 94

Former ‘woman of the decade' passes from natural causes

Letters of condolence can be sent to::

The Bendure Family
27945 Rimrock Road
Barstow, CA 92311-6414

BARSTOW • Helen Bendure — a retired teacher, humanitarian, business owner and community activist — died Thursday at the age of 94.

She passed away due to natural causes at her home, according to her daughter Glenda Bendure.

Bendure was an influential member of the community and was voted Woman of the Decade by the Barstow Chamber of Commerce in 1986 and honorary Grand Marshall of the Mardi Gras Parade in 1999 and 2006.

“She was just a dynamo and a wonderful woman. We shared so much of our lives together,” said Phyllis Sawyer, her friend for more than 40 years.

Sawyer and Bendure worked as teachers in the Barstow Unified School District, where Bendure taught junior high from 1963 to 1976. They also co-owned the Dabblers Den arts and crafts shop on E. Williams Street from 1972 to 1978.

Bendure was involved in a number of local organizations including: The First Congressional Church of Barstow, AFS Intercultural Exchange program, Desert Manna, Girl Scouts, California Retired Teachers Association and Mojave River Valley Museum for many years.

She wrote a weekly “Helping Hands” column for the Desert Dispatch for over 20 years starting in 1989. Her column focused on local service clubs and volunteer groups.

According to Glenda Bendure, her mother was passionate for causes of justice, organizing Barstow’s Peace and Justice Study Group, which urged national leaders to work for world peace. She led the group from 1983 to 2001.

She is survived by a son, Bert Bendure of Barstow; daughter Barb Fisher and her husband Bill of Reno, Nev.; daughter Glenda Bendure and her husband Ned Friary of Cape Cod, Mass.; grandson Bill Fisher and his wife, Heather, and their children, Billy, Cody and Judy Fisher of Reno, Nev.; as well as step-grandchildren. She was also the grandmother of Matt Fisher, who died in 2007. She was an AFS host mother to Joe Suka of Micronesia, Giovanni Russo of Italy and Megumi Saeki of Japan.

Funeral details are pending.

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