Rebecca Lender died on April 4.
Bradley Lender died three days later.
“Both of them. They’re gone. Just like that both of my parents are gone,” their daughter Maranda Lender wrote on Facebook.
Becky and Brad – as they were known – are among the 584 people in Pennsylvania who have died, as of Tuesday, from complications from COVID-19. Becky was 61; Brad, 60. They would have been married 34 years next month.
But they weren’t statistics. They were living, loving human beings, as evidenced by their daughter’s tribute to their lives.
Brad taught his daughter “how to use power tools and to drive like Dale Earnhardt,” screened “Star Wars” for her when she was 5 and taught her how to play golf. He taught her to chase her dreams and earn her degree from the Pennsylvania College of Art and Design. He once sat through a Hallmark movie with his daughter just to catch a glimpse of Maranda’s first TV commercial.
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They lived in Lewisberry in northern York County, in a small rancher on Fishing Creek Road.
Becky was a member of the class of 1977 of Cumberland Valley High School “where she twirled a rifle in the bandfront,” according to her obituary.
“She was crafty and loved to make things with her hands, found great joy in planning parties and events, and made it her personal mission to crochet a baby blanket for every single baby welcomed into the world by her numerous friends and family,” her obituary read.
“She was an avid collector of pig figurines, and enjoyed her many trips antiquing with her Uncle Johnny searching for those must have treasures. She was always ready to help any friend in need, and was willing to listen to the life story of a stranger. She was quick to offer a smile and motherly advice. She loved planning gifts and surprises for anyone and everyone.”
Becky worked at the New Cumberland Army Depot, “assisting with sustainable ways to reuse our resources,” according to her obituary.
Brad went to East Pennsboro High School, also graduating in 1977. He was an athlete, a member of the football, baseball and swim teams.
“He was a jack of all trades that loved to build things and DIY, the skills of which he used to remodel his family's home throughout the years himself,” his obituary stated.
“Throughout his life he tackled many hobbies and passions. In his younger years he raced stock cars on local dirt tracks, his black car numbered with a yellow '04' and emblazoned with the names of his wife and daughter. He built and flew (and crashed) model airplanes, raced RC cars, and played numerous rounds of golf in charity tournaments. He loved sports of all kinds and levels, and you could sometimes find him following 2 different games or events at once. One of his soft spots were animals, and he doted on the family's 4 cats lovingly and loved watching Animal Planet.
“In his later years he began home-brewing his own beer, a pursuit he took seriously, and found great joy and pride in crafting a beer from scratch and sharing his final product with his friends and family. When he wasn't brewing, he was on his motorcycle, enjoying the open road and discovering BBQ restaurants, or visiting his friends at the local American Legion and VFW,” according to his obituary.
Becky and Brad had planned to celebrate their anniversary by taking their first vacation in years next month to visit the Cincinnati Zoo, according to a Facebook post.
Becky got sick first and wound up on a ventilator in ICU. Two days after she passed away, Brad was in ICU, also on a ventilator, according to Maranda’s Facebook posts. Maranda reported that she had tested positive for the virus and was recovering. Maranda wrote, “It’s now Week 3 and each day I feel better than the last. I’m here, alone, in this house full of so many memories, trying to find my new normal in a world that is anything but normal anymore.”
In a post written the morning after her father died, Maranda wrote, “I’m so jealous of those of you who are just bored at home. I’m jealous that your kids are driving you crazy. I’m jealous that you miss going out for brunch. I’m jealous that you miss sports or miss the gym or miss school or miss the liquor store.
“Stay home and flatten the curve so those can be the only things you miss. Stay home so I can be surrounded by my family again sooner, a family that has to comfort me from the driveway and over the phone.”
Columnist/reporter Mike Argento has been a Daily Record staffer since 1982. Reach him at 717-771-2046 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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