Doing great at 98: Carson City’s Phyllis Bendure celebrates 98th birthday |

Doing great at 98: Carson City’s Phyllis Bendure celebrates 98th birthday

Ken Beaton
Phyllis Bendure is ready to celebrate and welcome her guests.
Courtesy |

How many people are doing great at 98? I know one 98 year old.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017, was Phyllis Anker Bendure’s 98th birthday. On Sunday, March 12th, she celebrated with her sons Ted and Fred Bendure, daughter Sue Bendure Henderson along with 22 relatives, friends and neighbors of all ages. We gathered on the third floor of Sierra Place Senior Living, 1111 W. College Parkway, Carson City, and celebrated her fantastic ride of 98 years.

As a second generation native Nevadan, she was the second baby born in the newly named Pershing County. Graduating from Pershing County High School in 1937, Phyllis tutored students to earn her University of Nevada tuition. She tutored Nevada’s only NFL Hall of Fame football player, Marion Motley. At 6’ 1” the 240 pound running back played 10 seasons with Cleveland Browns’ quarterback, Otto Graham, another member of in the Hall of Fame.

During the 1941-42 school year she was the business teacher at Eureka County High School. The next school year she taught at Lyon County High School in Yerington. All her friends had enlisted. So, Phyllis enlisted in the US Army Women’s Army Corps. In 1946 she was honorably discharged and married Ted Bendure. They became parents in 1947, 1953 and 1956.

Phyllis was a business educator for 40 years. For five years she and I taught together in Carson High School’s business department from 1978 to 1983. She retired in 1983 to become active in her golden years improving her mind and sharing her sense of humor. We have been neighbors since 1998 when I moved two houses from her.

“Sierra Place, located in Carson City, Nevada, is senior living at its finest, providing senior living, and assisted living services. Located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, we offer a simply elegant lifestyle and resort-style amenities and senior services.”

Instead of walking two houses up the street to visit, I drive to her new “digs” and visit with Phyllis. My greatest joy is to share a joke with her or to say something humorous to make her laugh.

“Each day is a gift, that’s why we call it the present,” author unknown.