Florence Georgina Bender Wittstruck was born on July 25, 1919 in Butler, NJ, to Horace and Eleanor (Thorne) Bender. She attended Butler High School, where her classmates, recognizing her beautiful voice, predicted that she was “bound for the met”. Their senior class trip took them all to see Mount Vernon.
Upon her graduation from Butler High School in 1937, Georgina enrolled in the Presbyterian Hospital School of Nursing in Newark, NJ. It was during this time that she met a young man attending Drew Theological School. Clifford Wittsturck sent her a letter, saying that he was permitted to go off campus only if he was under the care of a nurse. Georgina agreed to this, and their life-long journey of love began. Being sensitive to Clifford’s limited budget, Georgina always suggested an ice cream cone as their dating snack. She graduated from nursing school in 1940.
Georgina and Clifford were married on October 16, 1940, at the Methodist Church in Butler, NJ. Then began their shared ministry at Alford-Housatonic, Hartsville, MA (1940-1942), followed by Philmont-Harlemville, NY (1942-1946), and Ardsley, NY (1946-1949). In 1949, Georgina ventured west with her husband and three children (Nancy, Thorne, Bob), pulling all their belongings behind them in a small trailer. During their time in Lakefield, MN (1949-1958), Georgina worked part-time at the Lakefield Hospital and gave birth to a fourth child (Cliff). In 1958, the family moved to Pipestone, MN (1958-1967). During this time, while Clifford was pursuing some continuing education at Drew, Georgina found her way into New York City, where she appeared on the TV game show “Say When”. She managed to win several great prizes, including a grandfather clock, a color TV, a fur coat, and several other items, most important of which to her ice cream loving family was the one hundred dozen Heath ice cream bars. Georgina seemed to have the winning touch because later as a member of the audience in “Sale of the Century”, she won a set of Wedgewood China. Also in Pipestone, Georgina worked some as a nurse in a doctor’s office. She also gave birth to her fifth child (Patricia).
From 1967-1974, Georgina and Clifford served the United Methodist Church in Montevideo, MN, and the rural Rosewood Church. From 1974-1980, they served Portland Avenue UMC in Bloomington, MN. Clifford retired in 1980, when Georgina and Clifford moved to Holiday, FL and later to Clearwater, FL. In 2006, they moved back to Minnesota, living in a retirement home in Prior Lake.
Music was at the core of Georgina’s life. The theme of her life was Psalm 104:33: “I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have being.”
She could easily sing:
“My life flows on in endless song…
Since love is Lord at Heaven and Earth,
How can I keep from singing?”
Georgina was a champion for her family, making their support and care a priority in her life. She was a wonderful cook and baker, was one who put on the clothes of rightness. She was a cheerful person who enjoyed a good laugh. As her high school class observed long ago, she was “on duty” for “cheering up the world”.
Georgina died on February 16, 2022 in Prior Lake, MN. She was preceded in death by her husband, Clifford Wittstruck; parents, Horace and Eleanor Bender; her brother, Thorne; her sister, Miriam Isabel “Belle” Bender Nees (and her husband Ernie Nees); her son-in-law, Donald Glaesemann; her son, Robert; and her granddaughter, Amber.
Georgina is survived by her children, Nancy Glaesemann (husband Charles Clayton), Thorne (wife Linda), Clifford II (wife Barb), Patricia Thoele (husband Tim); daughter-in-law, Pam (Robert) Wittstruck; ten grandchildren; and eighteen great-grandchildren.
Offer Condolence for the family of Florence Georgina Bender WittstruckPrint Obituary & Condolences
Harley G Tanner
My sympathy is extended to Georgina’s family. My first appointment as a United Methodist Minister after seminary was to the Clarkfield-Montevideo -Rosewood setting. Cliff was a wonderful person as tutor in my early ministry and Georgina was very present in Cliff’s ministries. She was a lovely, kind hearted and gentle person in our lives – Grant and Donelle Tanner, Andover, MN
John Wittstruck and Jac E. Chace
Georgina always lifted up everyone around her through her music and song. As a cousin to her children I know how special they all are and that is in great part due to the Christian, loving, and thoughtful home Georgia and Clifford provided for them. Georgina was a beautiful person who is now with Clifford and with members of her family who preceded her in their journey to Heaven. She will be missed.
I was One of Georgina’s caregivers she will be missed by everyone a new perspectives she would always have a song that she’d be singing and should always be smiling. Now she’s in heaven with her husband again and Now she can drink all the coffee she wants
As an eight year old, Georgina became like a second mother to me. She allowed me to be as comfortable in their home as I was in my own. She was kind, generous, and a great cook! Such a great lady!
Georgina was always smiling. I went shopping at Dayton’s on a special sale day! What a shopper! I thought I was going to get run over, but Georgina just fell in with the shoppers and we had a great time! She and Clifford were very kind, thoughtful people and I loved them and their family.