By Duncan Mackay

Ralph C Bender profile 2December 28 - Ralph C. Bender, the former President of USA Pentathlon, has died at the age of 88 following a short illness in San Antonio. 

Bender served as head of the organisation between 2001 and 2004 having originally been introduced to the sport when at the age of 52 he took fencing lessons from an Olympic competitor, leading to him becoming a volunteer and advocate for the sport. 

He attended 12 Olympic Games on behalf of modern pentathlon, including London 2012.

Bendar, an architect with degrees from Iowa State College and Cranbrook Academy of Art, rewrote San Antonio's city's subdivision regulations and its zoning regulations and developed the comprehensive mapping programme that the city continues to use today.  

Utilizing the metro flood plan, Bender created a comprehensive parks and open space plan in 1959, which is actively being developed today as the city's linear parks system.

Ralph C Bender with Wenlock 2Ralph C Bender attended 12 Olympics, including London 2012

Until his death, Bender was an active board member of San Antonio Sports on the executive and youth committees, advocating for sports and fitness programmes for all children.  

He was chairman Emeritus of San Antonio Sports and was inducted into the San Antonio Sports Hall of Fame in 1999.

Bender is survived by his wife, Liz Fritz, daughter Beth Bender Wells, son Mark Bender and their families.

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