Lisa Bender-Zuleski fought brave battle with cancer

Obit Bender

Lisa Bender-Zuleski

Lisa L. Bender-Zuleski, 50, of Maple Grove, Minn., passed away into eternal life on Feb. 2, 2013, at her home with her son and husband at her side, after a 17-month battle with pancreatic cancer.
Funeral services were held Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013, at Sunset Funeral Home in Minneapolis, Minn., with Fr. Tony Dinseo officiating. Interment followed at Sunset Memorial Park in Minneapolis.
Lisa was born March 2, 1962, in Aberdeen, to Darrell and Irene (Stiles) Bender, and was baptized into the Roman Catholic Church. Due to her father’s frequent transfers, she attended elementary school in Mobridge, Pierre and Rapid City before her family moved back to Mobridge, where she graduated from high school in 1980.
Following high school, she managed the Super 8 Motel in Mobridge before moving to Minneapolis in 1982. Lisa became employed with Twin City Federal Bank in the mortgage loan business as a loan processor from 1985 to 1993, and was promoted to the position of corporate processing manager, responsible for training and supervising more than 100 loan processors. She then created her own loan processing business, Mortgage Loan Processing Center. Lisa subcontracted with large banks in Minneapolis to originate and process sometimes up to 65 mortgage loans in a single month. Shortly prior to her cancer diagnosis, she became employed with Thrivent Financial for Lutherans in Minneapolis.
Lisa married Richard Zuleski in 1988 and in 1990, their only child Carson was born.
Lisa will be remembered for her generosity, cooking and entertaining. She had a wonderful sense of humor and loved to laugh. She also enjoyed taking the family boat out on Lake Minnetonka, entertaining friends, and loved be around babies and small children. She had a love for the holidays, including decorating her yard for Halloween and handing out the neighborhood’s favorite treats to the trick or treaters, and giving and receiving gag gifts for Christmas.
Upon learning of her terminal diagnosis, Lisa did not return to work, and fought her cancer with the most aggressive forms of chemotherapy available. She never complained about the side effects, and never wanted anybody to see her in pain. During breaks in her treatments, she enjoyed traveling to Phoenix to visit her relatives and friends. Lisa, her husband and son were also able to take a long-anticipated trip to the islands of Hawaii. Her home backed up to a mall wildlife preserve and Lisa had several bird feeders she kept filled so she could watch the birds while she was undergoing her treatments. Her loyal Boston Terriers, Max and Winnie, and cat, Kizmo, were also there to keep her company.
Lisa is survived by her devoted husband of 25 years, Richard Zuleski of Maple Grove; loving son, Carson Zuleski of Maple Grove; her parents, Darrell and Irene Bender of Mobridge; brother, Kim Bender of Cooke City, Mont.; brother, Darren Bender of Phoenix, Ariz.; nieces, Jennifer Cornett of Sioux Falls and Kari (Jordan) Nehls of Lincoln, N.D.; great-nephew, Jackson Cornett; great-nieces, Ella Cornett, Laila and Brittyn Nehls. Other survivors include sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law, Kathleen and Roger Starks and Debra and Ron Brown; nephews, Justin and Ryan Brown and Christopher Stark; and uncles, aunts and many cousins.
Preceding her in death were her grandparents, Jacob and Minnie Bender and John and Dorothy Stiles.
Please join us in remembering Lisa by visiting our memorial (photos and guest book) at Through this site we invite you to share your thoughts and fond memories with our family.

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