Remembering Joseph Bendas, Eden Friend and Trustee Emeritus

It is with heavy hearts and deepest sympathy that we inform you of the passing of Eden friend and Trustee Emeritus, Joseph Bendas on January 20, 2024. A member of the Eden family for many years, Joe will be missed dearly.

Joe and Eden participant Ari S., Wawa’s first employee with a developmental disability. 1981

An outstanding volunteer and generous donor, Joe was known by many of Eden’s adult families through his efforts to engage Wawa in hiring individuals with developmental disabilities. In 1981, while general manager of Wawa’s Princeton University Store, Joe worked with Eden staff and Wawa colleagues to hire the first of what would lead to hundreds of employees with a developmental disability throughout the Wawa company.

Among the many thoughtful gestures Joe would make over his four decades of friendship was delivering birthday cakes on staff members’ birthdays, hosting ice cream parties at the Eden School, delivering pizza to the group homes, and recruiting members of his church to volunteer for events such as the Eden Family Picnic and Mother’s Day flower sales to benefit Eden. In addition to fellow parishioners, Joe volunteered his daughter and sons when they were teenagers and later his grandchildren and their classmates to work at Eden events and fundraisers.

Visitation for family and friends will be held on Monday, January 29 from 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm at the Saul Colonial Home, 3795 Nottingham Way, Hamilton Square, NJ.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Tuesday, January 30 at 10:00 am at St. Paul’s Roman Catholic Church, 216 Nassau Street, Princeton NJ. Interment will follow at St. Mary’s Cemetery at 1200 Cedar Lane in Hamilton.

In lieu of flowers, Joe’s family has asked that donations be made to Eden. Joe will be deeply missed by all who knew him, and we are keeping Joe’s family in our thoughts and prayers as they go through this sad time.