Kelsi Marie Bender


OREGON – Kelsi Marie Bender, age 30, of Oregon died Friday, April 16, 2021, unexpectedly at her home.
Kelsi was born on April 11, 1991 in Sterling, Kelsi was the daughter of Jenny and Dave Baker of Polo and Ron and Sheila Bender of Dixon. Kelsi graduated from Polo High School in 2009, where she participated in volleyball, basketball, track and cheerleading, as well as the No Limits Volleyball Club. She went on to graduate from the University of St. Francis in Joliet in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing. At the time of her passing, Kelsi was employed as a Registered Nurse II at The Jack Mabley Developmental Center in Dixon.

A loving granddaughter, daughter, sister and aunt, Kelsi was dedicated to her career as a nurse and to her patients. She looked forward to yearly vacations to spend time with her grandparents and, in more recent years, traveling to Colorado to visit her brother. Although the past year of the pandemic was especially overwhelming, the love and support of her family helped her get through the difficult moments. Above all, she was deeply devoted to her loved ones and fur-babies, Thor and Bolt.
She is survived by her parents; siblings, Lucas (Sarah) Bender of Centennial, Colo.; Hanna (Dre) Kerley of Dixon; Kellianne (Kyle) Baker of Harvard; and Nick Baker of Polo; nieces and nephews, J.R. Bender of Centennial, Colo., Trey Wilslef, Sylas Barclay, Jerreck Kerley and Aaliyah Montgomery of Dixon, Katie Baker of Harvard and Lilly Baker of Polo; grandparents, Donna Wolf of Dixon and Glen and Dianne Thomas of Okeechobee, Fla.; Bob (Sharon Bowers) Baker of Polo; aunts and uncles, Dale (Deejah) Thomas of Okeechobee, Fla., Craig (Mele) Thomas of Redmond, WA, David Thomas of Philadelphia, PA, Chad Thomas of Lakeport, Fla., Jason (Laverne) Thomas of Okeechobee, Fla., Elizabeth (Andrew) Foster of Sterling, Barb (Mike) McSorley of North Las Vegas, NV, Pam (Dennis) Weigle of Queens Creek, Ariz., Rick (Beck) Weigle of Dixon, Andrea (Alex) Passas of Wheaton, Angela (Tyler) Wilcox of McFarland, Wis., Scott (Brenda) Grobe of Mendota, Kathy (Marty) Toms of Polo, and Lenny Grobe of Polo, as well as numerous beloved cousins.

Kelsi was preceded in death by her sister, Ericka Kerley; grandparents, Donald Bender, Herb and Lois Hoover, Robert Wolf, and Rod and Judy Weigle; and great-grandparents, Fern Bramm, Alton Bramm, Howard and Faye Hahn, Clyde Thomas, and James and Gladys Wolf.

Visitation was from 4-8 p.m., on Thursday, April 22, 2021 at Preston-Schilling Funeral Home, Ltd in Dixon. Funeral Service was at 10 a.m., on Friday, April 23, 2021 at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Dixon, with Pastor Dale Thomas and Pastor David Schweppe, co-officiating. Burial will follow at Oakwood Cemetery in Mt. Morris.
In lieu of flowers a memorial has been established.
Arrangements were completed by Preston-Schilling Funeral Home in Dixon.
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