Naugatuck - Adolph Joseph “Duke” Bendler, Age 77, of Naugatuck, died peacefully at his home on Saturday, February 1, 2020 , surrounded by his loving family. He was the loving husband of JoAnn (Coppola) Bendler for 53 years.
Duke was born on October 23rd, 1942 in Derby, CT. He was the son of the late Adolph John and Julia (Mitchell) Bendler. He received his bachelor degree from Fairfield University, his Masters degree from Southern Connecticut State University, and his 6th year teaching certificate from the University of Bridgeport. He taught English in the Trumbull School system for over 30 years, completing his career at Taft School in Watertown, where he continued to influence students until his retirement. While teaching in Trumbull, Duke was an inspiring coach in Baseball, Football and volunteered in youth sports in Naugatuck. He was also a referee and umpire for Basketball & Baseball. He was an avid New York Yankee and New York Giants fan.
Duke was very active in the community, being an Eucharistic Minister, a member of the Knights of Columbus, parishioner of St. Francis of Assisi Church and volunteered with the Special Olympics.
In addition to his wife, Duke is survived by his two sons and daughters in-law, Ryan and Nicole Bendler of Bethlehem CT and Erik and Suzanne Bendler of Mount Pleasant, South Carolina; his grandchildren Troy Mitchell Bendler and Halie Elizabeth Bendler, great granddaughter Melanie Renee, many nieces, nephews, cousins and three granddogs.
Duke’s family would like to thank all those at Ct. Hospice; especially his nurse Joetta Lewis and aides Kathy Faircloth, Theresa Pratt and Diana Martinez, for their care and compassion through a difficult time. The family would also like to thank all his colleagues and friends at The Taft School in Watertown, CT.
Arrangements - Calling hours will be held Thursday from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Naugatuck Valley Memorial Fitzgerald Zembruski Funeral Home, 240 North Main Street, Naugatuck. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday, February 7th at 10:00 a.m. at St. Francis of Assisi Church, Church Street, Naugatuck. Friends are asked to meet directly at the church. Burial will be private and at the convenience of the family. Donations can be made to The Connecticut Hospice organization, 61 Burban Drive, Branford, CT 06405.
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