Robert W. Bender, Ibm Executive

April 24, 2009|By JACQUES KELLY

Robert W. Bender, a retired IBM executive who had a leadership development consulting firm, died Sunday of pneumonia and sepsis at Georgetown Hospital in Washington. The Annapolis and Silver Spring resident was 77.

Born in Philadelphia, he grew up in College Park. He earned a degree in horticulture and food technology from the University of Maryland and belonged to the Theta Xi fraternity.

He joined IBM in 1959 as a salesman and quickly advanced into sales management, working in Baltimore and Washington. He won numerous sales awards. He was later an executive for IBM World Trade and had clients in Japan, China and South America. As an executive with IBM's governmental programs and community affairs office in Washington, he coordinated the company's participation in the inauguration of President George H.W. Bush. He retired in 1989.

In 1995, Mr. Bender became chief executive officer of Bailey & Bender, a leadership training firm. He and his wife, Patricia Crow, conducted leadership training seminars on cruise ships.

Mr. Bender had a partnership with former Ravens coach Brian Billick to conduct these classes.

"Bob's class and grace touched the lives of his friends," said Mr. Billick. "He was a selfless individual and always seemed to have the right perspective."

He was a Maryland sports fan and belonged to the Terrapin Club, University of Maryland Alumni Association, Ducks Unlimited and the Annapolis Yacht Club.

A Mass of Christian burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday at St. Matthew's Roman Catholic Church, 5401 Loch Raven Blvd., where he was a member.

In addition to his wife of 24 years, survivors include three sons, Robert Keith Bender of Beltsville, Richard Kirk Bender of Gaithersburg and William Kevin Bender of New Market; a daughter, Patricia Kim Elling of Arnold; and eight grandchildren. His first wife, Geraldine Fedorchek, died in 1976.

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