Paul G. Bender, 61, of Bayville passed quietly at home Wednesday, August 1, 2018. The youngest of six children, Paul was born May 1, 1957, in Newark, New Jersey, to the late Charles and Helen Bender.
Raised in South Orange, Paul moved to Bayville to help his brother Charlie run the family marina in 1971. Central Regional High School was a far cry from the routine Paul previously had up North at Our Lady of Sorrows and he fell in with a rowdy crowd who have remained faithful friends to this day.
With his passion for saltwater, Paul began working on a tuna boat after he was invited to leave Central Regional upon turning 16, and continued to work on both commercial and charter boats throughout his life. Paul’s skills as a fisherman were unparalleled and his ability to charm customers as a First Mate was widely known on Long Beach Island.
When he wasn’t fishing, Paul traveled to music festivals throughout the East Coast, where he met his wife Karla in 1996. During their marriage, they shared this love of music through volunteering at many festivals. Their festival family members knew Paul as “Fishboy” and his photographs and audio recordings of concerts are cherished by both musicians and fans. Paul also enjoyed photographing the many birds that graced his backyard and the marshes of Bayville.
While Paul’s first marriage, to Margaret Jamieson, was short, it blessed him with a son and stepson. He was so proud of both of them and the parents that they have become; spending time with his spirited grandchildren gave him joy.
Paul is predeceased by his parents, sister, Catherine Cocolotta, niece, Trissy Cocolotta and beloved aunt, Mary Kalinowski.
Paul is survived by his devoted wife, Karla Ivarson; son, Daniel Bender and his wife Stephanie of Bayville; stepson, Christopher Jamieson and his partner Loreal Furfaro of Lacey; brothers, Charlie Bender and his former wife Ruth of Pennsylvania; Fred Bender and his wife Sue of Florida; Tommy Bender and his wife Janet of Florida; sister, Margaret Coyman and her husband Sandy of Maryland; grandchildren, Connor Jamieson, Henry Bender, Evan Bender, Juliet Bender as well as a multitude of cousins.
A Memorial Gathering will be held Friday, August 10, 2018 from 6pm to 8pm at Timothy E. Ryan Home For Funerals O’Connell Chapel, 706 Highway 9, Bayville, New Jersey. Committal will be private. Condolences may be expressed by visiting www.ryanfuneralhome.com