YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – Estella McNeal Cummings Bender, 93, of 753 Park Avenue, Youngstown, gracefully departed this life Monday, January 27, 2020 at 6:30 a.m. at St. Elizabeth Medical Center, following an extended illness.
She was born January 4, 1927, in Glendora, Mississippi, the daughter of Garfield and Anner Brimmage McNeal, Sr., residing in the area since 1957, coming from Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
She was employed with the Youngstown Developmental Center for five years as a hospital aide, before retiring in 1987. She also worked for the Youngstown Public Schools for seven years in several cafeterias and the central kitchen.
After retirement, she attended Youngstown State University, where she was affectionately known as “Granny” and the “go to” confidant to many.
She was a member and ordained Elder of the Seventh Day Adventist Church Alpha and Omega (Warren), where she sang in the choir, Youth Sabbath Day school teacher, usher, established the Women’s Ministries and elected to the Allegheny West Conference Executive Committee and Deaconess Board. She was an active Bible worker in the Seventh Day Adventist Church, teaching about the love of God to all she met.
She belonged to the NAACP, honored by the National Council of Negro Women and featured in the book “Phenomenal Women: Twelve Youngstown Stories”, from sharecropper to Youngstown State University and was an avid gardener.
She married Frank Bender August 1, 1962, he passed away April 17, 1997.
She leaves to mourn five daughters, Ms. Cynthia R. Taylor of Zion, Illinois, Mrs. Bobby Cummings (Robert) Reynolds of Youngstown, Ms. Debra L. Cummings-Bundy and Ms. Ramona A. Cummings both of Columbus and Ms. LaNita G. Cummings of Youngstown; two sisters, Ms. Pharmey L. McNeal of Chicago, Illinois and Ms. Juryline “Kitty” Cole of Memphis, Tennessee; 27 grandchildren, 82 great-grandchildren and 74 great-great-grandchildren and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents; three sons, George McNeal, Percy L. Cummings and Achilles “Tikki” Bender-Cummings; one daughter, Ms. Willie “Jean” Hockyday’bey; three brothers, Charlie A. McNeal, Garfield McNeal, Jr. and Clarence McNeal and four sisters, Mattie Mary McNeal, Elizabeth Partee, Amie L. Wade and Lula Mae Lewis.
Funeral services will be held Tuesday, February 4, 2020 at 12:00 Noon at the Temple Emmanuel Seventh Day Adventist Church, 108 W. Indianola Avenue, 44507.
Calling hours will be held one hour prior to the services 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. at the church on Tuesday, February 4.
Burial will take place at Belmont Park Cemetery.
Arrangements of comfort were handled by the Sterling-McCullough Williams Funeral Home.