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Kathryn M. Valji

August 11, 1952 ~ July 13, 2020 (age 67)


     Kathryn M. Valji, 67, of Sturgeon Bay, passed away peacefully early Monday morning (July 13, 2020) at St. Vincent Hospital in Green Bay after many years of difficult health.

     She was born August 11, 1952 in Chicago, the daughter of the late Richard and Marie (Henning) Bender, where she attended Nash Elementary School and Austin Community Academy High School. Kathryn’s life was not easy as she battled Crohn’s Disease for almost 40 years, was a breast cancer survivor, and fought congestive heart failure later in life; yet she was always quick to find joy in really green grass or blue water, good food, and her favorite movies or TV shows. She also possessed an enthusiasm and determination to learn new things, especially related to technology. One of Kathryn’s greatest joys was her daughter, Jen, Jen’s husband, James and her grandchildren, Blake and Reid. She loved nature, music and Motown, and all things Chicago, but especially the Chicago Cubs.

     Those left behind who will deeply miss her are her daughter, Jen (James) Hanson and their children, Blake and Reid, of Saint Paul, MN; four brothers, John (Carol) Bender of Brussels, Bob (Janet) Bender of Algoma, Bill (Ruth) Bender (formerly of Forestville) of Milwaukee, and Doug Bender of Manitowoc; along with nieces, nephews, neighbors and friends.

     The family wishes to extend their heartfelt appreciation to all those who provided extensive healthcare and basic care services in Kathy’s final months of life, including Door County Memorial Hospital, Sturgeon Bay Health Services, and St. Vincent Hospital. The kindness and compassion shown by all was comforting in her last months of life.

     Huehns Funeral Home, Inc. & Door County Crematory LLC are assisting the family with arrangements.

     Due to the COVID pandemic, any services will be held at a later date. The family welcomes donations to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation, the American Cancer Society, or the American Heart Association in Kathy’s memory. Expressions of sympathy, memories, and photos of Kathryn may also be shared with her family through her tribute page at

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Crohn's & Colitis Foundation
733 Third Ave, Suite 510, New York NY 10017
Tel: 1-800-932-2423

American Cancer Society
P.O. Box 22718, Oklahoma City OK 73123
Tel: 1-800-227-2345

American Heart Association
7272 Greenville Avenue, Dallas TX 75231

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