Craig Alan "Smoke" Bender, age 53 of Ravenna, passed away Sunday, July 13, 2014, at his home after a three year battle with colon cancer.
He was born August 23, 1960, in Ravenna, to parents Larry Bender and S. Barb Salamon. Craig was a man of few words, but a man of service to many. He lived at home with his mother, and was a graduate of Ravenna High School class of 1979. Craig enjoyed his dog Blu and watching his hometown Ravens baseball, basketball, and football team. The New York Yankees were always a passion in Craig's life. Craig was a treasured member of Ebenezer Apostolic Assembly Church of Akron, where he served as head usher.
Craig is survived by his mother S. Barb Salamon, father Larry Bender, brothers: Jeff (DeNiece) Bender and Brad (Deborah) Bender, nephew Vito Giulitto, nieces: Lisa (Brian) Kinter, Andrea Giulitto, Katherine Bender, and Lauren (Matt) Meyers. Craig was preceded in death by his grandparents Theresa and Joseph Salamon and Nell and Jerry Craaston.
Cremation has taken place and a Celebration of Life Service will begin at 1:00 PM on Friday, July 18, 2014, at the Italian American Society, 644 S. Chestnut St., Ravenna, with a time of fellowship to follow.
Condolences and memories may be shared at www.wood-kortright-borkoski.com. Craig's family would like to give their heartfelt thanks to Ms. Michelle Bennington for her comfort and care, as well as the team of AseraCare Hospice of Akron, and Drs. Kenneth Weiss and Dale Sheppard of the Cleveland Clinic.
(Wood-Kortright-Borkoski 330-296-6436, RC 7-16-14)
I drive, or ride my bike, by "smoke's" house everyday, but with the construction on the road this summer, I could not go by as often. I always saw smoke outside, usually with his beautiful white dog. I have been wondering why I have not seen him lately so I just saw his obituary today. I will miss not seeing him and saying hello to him and his dog.. He was such a nice fellow and loved his dogs so much. My condolences go out to all his friends and family. I will think of him everytime I drive by and see his dog.
Craig's gentle disposition and kindness were the hilight of any day he was in clinic.
He will be missed by all of us!
Heartfelt condolences to his wonderful and caring family
K Weiss and CCF nurses
Years ago, Craig and brother, Jeff, were our son Jamie Mack' s first Little league coach. As a Ravenna School bus driver for years, I would see Craig walking his dog. We are truly sorry for your loss. Sincerely yours, Ken and Linda Mack