Willard "Dean" Fender, age 88, of Hillsboro, passed away Wednesday May 25, 2022 at the Highland District Hospital in Hillsboro, OH with his family by his side.
He was born April 8, 1934 in Mowrystown, OH, son of the late George Dewey Fender and Clara Emma Stultz. Dean was raised on a farm in Southern Highland County Ohio off of Wildcat Road. He graduated from Mowrystown High School in 1952 where he played basketball for the Hornets and made many lifelong friends.
After high school, he commuted daily to Dayton Ohio and worked at the Fridgedaire plant. He later took a job with Ford Motor Company in Cincinnati Ohio. In 1956 he was drafted into the Army and served for two years in Korea during the Korean War.
On his way home from the Korean War , on a bus from Cincinnati to Hillsboro, Dean met the love of his life, Marilyn. The only seat left on the bus when he boarded was next to her. It was meant to be. They were married June 6, 1959.
When Dean returned home to Ohio, he and his brother, Bob started a farm machinery business and named it Fender Brothers Implement Company. The company was started in Mowrystown Ohio and later moved to US Rte 62 by the Old Y Restaurant. Fender Brothers assisted many farmers in Southern Ohio for 24 years, after which Dean retired from the farm machinery business.
Dean spent the next segment of his working career farming with his Uncle Everette and developing real estate in Ohio and Florida. He retired for good in 1998.
He spent the next 24 years collecting and trading antiques, attending auctions, and having coffee and shooting the bull at McDonalds in Hillsboro with his many good friends. He especially enjoyed this last segment of his life spending time and traveling the world with his loving wife and watching his grandchildren grow.
Dean was a devoted and loving husband, a fantastic father and a great friend that will be sorely missed.
In addition to his wife Marilyn, he is survived by his daughter and son-in-law, Kim & Brad Hess, his son & daughter-in-law, Ken & Julie Fender, four grandchildren, Grace Fender, Bricen Hess, Nathaniel Fender, Caden Hess, and three nieces, Susan Burnett, Carol Barker, and Pam (Stanley) Skinner.
In addition to his parents, Dean in preceded in death by brother & sister-in-law, Bob & Florence Fender, special aunt & uncle, Everett & Kenova Nace, maternal grandparents, Floyd & Bertha Stultz and paternal grandparents, Frank & Anna Fender.
Services will be held at Rhoads-Edgington Funeral Home, Hillsboro, Tuesday, May 31, 2022 at 1:00 pm with Pastor Bob Cochrell officiating. Interment will follow in the Hillsboro Cemetery where the Highland County Veterans Honor Guard will conduct full military honors
Friends will be received at Rhoads-Edgington Funeral Home on Tuesday, May 31, 2022, 11:00 am - 1:00 pm.
In lieu of flowers, Contributions may be made to the Hollowtown Church of Christ, 2630 S. Hollowtown Rd. Hillsboro, OH 45133 or Hospice of Hope - Ohio Valley, 215 Hughes Blvd. Mt. Orab, OH 45154. To sign the online guest book, go to edgingtonfuneralhomes.com.