My dear Mom, Janine Bender’s Obituary
Janine was raised in Peoria, Illinois, on a big farm. My mother grew up with 13 other siblings. Turns out that was her favorite number she held the rest of her life. One of her siblings became a nun, so you know Catholicism was very important in the Perino family.
100% Italian, my mother held a true “Passion” and everyone she met felt lucky to know her. This passion was shown in so many ways. In school, her passion led Janine to graduate “Summa Cum Laude” at the sister School of Notre Dame—called Saint Mary’s. Janine’s incredible energy led her to win in pair’s dancing with her brother at a 24-hour dance competition.
My mother inspired me with true passion for what I have accomplished helping people find success with their goals in retirement the past 3 decades. Janine’s talents were precise in so many ways including teaching at Arthur Murray’s Dance Studio where she showed me that there is a true art to dancing, as she held perfect form with grace and beauty.
Meeting my beloved father, Joseph in 1961, their first date was at a Laker Game. My mother adored Elvis. My father won a lawsuit for Elvis as an attorney and when my dad refused to have the after party at our home in Pacific Palisades/Los Angeles—my mom jokingly said, ‘This is grounds for divorce’. Later when Elvis did pass away, I was only 14 and his death hurt all of us. But most of all, it affected my dear mom. My mom was 26 when Elvis became an international sensation, and she truly loved his music.
Janine also loved any Saturday during football season playing the Notre Dame Fight Song, especially when Notre Dame played USC as my father graduated from USC undergrad and grad school. Janine was tireless taking us to after school plays, musicals, and sports teams including basketball, football, baseball, soccer, judo, and swimming. To this day, I don’t know how she did it in all in 24 hours.
Mom always impressed upon my brother Todd and I the true importance of school. She was the leader of our family in so many ways. Dad was more relaxed and wanted to joke around when he came home from court or the office. Mom led as a true Italian passionate woman bent on providing her family the best. She loved sweets, especially chocolate and would always say “give me chocolate or someone gets hurt.” She became an incredible real estate broker during a time that most children or younger adults can’t even relate to. There wasn’t a cell phone to be found. If you weren’t extremely talented, you couldn’t even sell one home as many homes stayed on the market for months back then because interest rates were much higher for a mortgage, climbing as high as17% or 18%.
Janine always looked at life as the glass was more than half full. I shared with her for many years as I was lucky enough to live right next door to my parents in my 30’s, that she exuded “PMA”—an incredible ‘Positive Mental Attitude’. We shared wonderful memories as we did so many of her favorite things—going for long walks around the water or down by the beach in Dana Point. She also played cards, and you learned very quickly she didn’t like it if you didn’t pay attention, as she said, “Play Defensively”! An accomplished snow skier in her 80’s, life didn’t slow her down. White was her color to wear, and that was a challenge to be sure on the ski slopes because people couldn’t always see her. But for sure, she seized life every day with all the zest she could muster.
My mom, Janine will always be remembered as an incredible woman with people she knew, and with me especially as I have the rarity to spend close to 60 years with her. She is now resting in Heaven with my father, Joseph Francis Bender. They will soon be side by side where I can visit anytime. They grew to love Orange County where they spent many wonderful years together.
Please click on the link below to view a beautiful tribute to my mom Janine Bender. You will see she was loved and will forever be cherished.