header 1
header 2
header 3

In Memory

Alice "Joanne" Newcomb (Bendall) VIEW PROFILE

Alice Joanne Newcomb (Bendall)

Alice "Joanne" Newcomb Bendall

Alice "Joanne" Newcomb Bendall passed away January 2, 2015, with her daughter at her side.

Born February 24, 1928, on her family's farm in Rochester, IN, Bendall devoted her life to education, serving her community, and continuing her family's farming tradition as a sixth-generation Fulton County farmer.

She attended Purdue University on a 4-H scholarship and began teaching in 1949. By 1963 Bendall was a single parent, balancing teaching, parenting, and serving as Business Manager for her parents' livestock auction on Saturdays. Two nights a week she drove to Purdue, earning her first master's degree. Years later, she earned her EPDA at Indiana State.

No underdog, disadvantaged student, or struggling initiative had a more tenacious friend. She was a fierce advocate for what she believed to be right. Prestige meant nothing. Integrity and productivity meant all.

Bendall began at South Bend's Riley High School in 1963, moving to Jackson HS, and then "downtown" to become Director of Home Economics in 1971. Her duties immediately expanded and in 1995 she was named Director of Adult and Vocational Education.

Governor Evan Bayh appointed Bendall to the Indiana State Fair Board in 1993, and Governor Frank O'Bannon re-appointed her. A champion of agriculture and 4-H, she told stories of staying in the "new" State Fair Coliseum when she was a teenage 4-H'er!

She begrudgingly "retired' in 1998, because her daughter thought it was time for a 70-year-old woman to stop commuting 100 miles a day through northern Indiana's fickle weather. Bendall worried that all the fun would be over. Everyone who knew her knew that was unlikely.

The Fulton County Community Foundation appointed Bendall president in 2006. She founded the Fulton County 4-H Fund, and set a fundraising goal of $25,000 for the first year. People scoffed. The goal was met in 3 months. Never (never) satisfied, Bendall set a personal goal to help raise $100,000 for the fund, and that goal was achieved in December 2013. Telling her something was impossible only meant that the glint in her eye grew brighter.

Honors included: IVA Merit Award, IVHEA Outstanding Service Award, South Bend YMCA Woman of the Year, Women's Fest Lifetime Achievement Award, and Purdue University's Hidden Diamond Award. She was a member of Phi Delta Kappa, Delta Kappa Gamma, Tri-Kappa, and First Baptist Church, Rochester, IN.

Bendall is survived by her daughter, JoEllen Bendall; and nieces, Cindi Smith Webb (Joe), Lynne Smith Seiler (T.J.), Peg Smith, and Katie Smith Connor (Bill). She is predeceased by her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Carl (Alice) Newcomb; and her sister, Marcia Newcomb Smith (Roger).

Visitation is from 4-8 p.m., Friday, January 9th, at Zimmerman Brothers Funeral Home , 1101 Jefferson St., Rochester, IN, where a Tri-Kappa Memorial service will take place at 4:30 p.m. Friday at the funeral home. The funeral will be at 1:30 p.m., Saturday, January 10th at First Baptist Church, 10th and Main, Rochester. Visitation will be an hour before the service. Memorials may be made to the Joanne N. and JoEllen Bendall Fund at the Northern Indiana Community Foundation, P.O. Box 807, Rochester, Indiana, proceeds used for Fulton County Scholarships or to the charity of your choice. Online condolences may expressed at http://www.zimmermanbrosfh.com

Published by The Indianapolis Star on Jan. 7, 2015

06/18/2023 EJS


Click here to see Alice "Joanne"'s last Profile entry.