September 21, 1964 - April 15, 2016


Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, April 19, 2016 at St. Maria Goretti Catholic Church, 5313 Flad Avenue, Madison, WI, for Michele K. Kruchten-Bender, age 51, of Mt. Horeb, WI, who died on Friday, April 15, 2016 at Agrace HospiceCare in Fitchburg, WI. Msgr. Michael L. Burke will officiate. Private family inurnment will be at Assumption Cemetery.

Visitation will be from 9:00 a.m. until 10:45 a.m. on Tuesday, April 19, 2016 at the Church. Visitation will also be held from 4:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 21, 2016 at the Daniel Funeral Home, St. Cloud. The Ellestad Camacho Funeral Home, 500 N. 8th Street, Mt. Horeb, WI is serving the family. The Daniel Funeral Home, St. Cloud is assisting.

Michele was born on September 21, 1964 in St. Cloud, MN to Virgil and Carol (Neuman) Kruchten. She graduated from St. Cloud Tech High School in 1983 and earned Bachelors and Masters degrees from St. Cloud State. She worked as an early childhood teacher in Becker and Big Lake School Districts where she got to explore her passion for parent education. On December 15, 1995, she married Paul G. Bender. Their adventure continued as they relocated to Mt. Horeb, and Michele began teaching at MATC. She will also be remembered for teaching at Agape Christian Preschool in Mt. Horeb and most recently as the guidance counselor at St. Maria Goretti School in Madison. Paul and Michele loved being parents to Mason and Ryia and enjoyed many fun family adventures and time together. Michele will be deeply missed and lovingly remembered by all who knew her.

Michele is survived by her husband, Paul; children, Mason and Ryia; step-children, Nicole (Adam) Barnett and Kevin Bender; parents, Virgil and Carol Kruchten, of St. Cloud, MN; mother- and father-in-law, Ron and Jud Bender, of Wadena, MN; bother-in-law, Greg (Michele) Bender; other relatives, students, co-workers and many wonderful friends.

She is preceded in death by her grandparents, aunts and uncles.

In lieu of flowers and plants, memorials will be used to help Michele’s children.