Robert Harvey Bendele, Sr., passed away on April 5, 2017 in Dunlay at the age of 87 years. Robert was born at the family home in San Antonio on December 29, 1929 to Charles August Bendele and Frances Ruth Robinson Bendele. Robert attended Little Flower Catholic School and Church (serving as an altar boy and singing in the church choir) Horace Mann Jr. High and Fox Tech High School (where he was the band drum major).
When he was 11 years old he rode the bus into downtown San Antonio so he could take guitar lessons. His family formed a band that they named Melody Kids. His parents and he and his siblings played various instruments. The family entertained at numerous NCO Clubs and Officers Clubs after WWII. Robert worked as a union metal lather until he retired when he was 62 years old. He continued to play music with the Rhythm Kings, Leroy Grohman and later with senior groups in California at Laguna Woods. He loved to fish and hunt, providing food for many meals. Robert was a very sharp individual. He was always thinking of a better way to make something. He enjoyed building bird feeders, squirrel feeders and handmade toys.
In addition to his parents, Robert was preceded in death by his wife, Darlene Dreyer Bendele; wife, Dorothy Bledsoe Bendele; brother, Sonny Bendele and brother-in-law, Bob Speer.
Survivors include his ten children and their spouses, Pam (Gary) Klasing of Helotes, Deborah (Charlie Bob) Crow of San Antonio, Maribeth (Bill) Jung of Universal City, Bud (Therese) Bendele of Spokane Valley, WA, Mike (Gloria) Bendele of Castroville, Beverly Bendele of New Braunfels, Jack Bendele of San Antonio, Donna (Ron) Swart of Port St. Lucie, FL, Nancy Ruth Flores of San Antonio, Kenneth A. Bendele of New Braunfels; stepchildren, Stephen Leathers and Stephanie Leathers of CA; siblings, Franklin (Margie) Bendele of Welfare, Patsy Ruth Speer of Dunlay, David (Gloria) Bendele of Dunlay; sister-in-law, Julia Bendele of San Antonio; 24 grandchildren, 44 great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild; as well as numerous nieces, nephews, and other relatives.
Visitation and gathering began at 1:00 pm on Tuesday, April 11, 2017, followed by a Rosary and memorial service to celebrate his life at 2:00 pm at Tondre-Guinn Funeral Home. Services concluded at the funeral home.
Arrangements by Tondre-Guinn Funeral Home.