Sophie M. Bender, 94, of Bay Road, passed away Monday evening, August 10, 2020 at the Warren Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing.
Born on August 8, 1926 in Stamford, CT she was the last of nine children of the late Gabriel and Catherine Uzar.
Sophie worked for the City of Stamford prior to moving to upstate NY. She then worked for many years as the manager for the Great Escape’s restaurants.
She was an avid sportswoman. She began playing baseball at a young age and had played in Madison Square Garden and the Boston Garden. She and her sister, Stephie were renowned as short stop and third baseman for the Stamford Nutmegs who were state and New England champions throughout the 1940’s. They were approached by Max Carey and offered a contract to play professional hardball with the All-American Girls Baseball League during World War II. They ultimately turned down the offer, not wanting to break up their New England championship team. In later years, Sophie continued to share her love of the game by coaching her daughter’s Miss Softball America teams to numerous championship titles. She was also an accomplished bowler.
She was predeceased by her parents; her husband, David W. Bender, Sr.; one son, Keith Bender; one daughter, Karen Backus; two sisters and six brothers.
Survivors include one daughter, Toni (Ralph) Riola of Seattle, WA; one son, David Bender of Meriden, CT; grandchildren: Gabrielle, Michaela, Noah, Tripp and Jillian.
Friends may call Saturday from 4-7 p.m. at Brewer Funeral Home, Inc., 24 Church St., Lake Luzerne. Masks must be worn while inside the funeral home and NY State guidelines for capacity limits will be adhered to.
Funeral services will be conducted 1 p.m. Monday at the funeral home.
Burial will follow in Luzerne Cemetery, Lake Luzerne.
Contributions in Sophie’s memory may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, 60 E. 42nd St. #2240, New York, NY 10165.
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