Byron W. Bender

Posted: March 2022

The LSA regrets to announce the death of longtime member Byron W. Bender, which occured on 4 January 2020, but was not reported via LSA communications channels until this week. We apologize for the oversight.

Bender first joined the LSA in 1950 and eventually became a Life Member of the Society. According to an obituary published in 2020, "he was a major figure in advancing the study of the languages of Oceania. Bender served as the editor of Oceanic Linguistics (OL) for fifteen years and as Chair of the Department of Linguistics at the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa (UHM) for twenty-six years. His primary research interests throughout his career were the documentation of Marshallese and the comparative study of Micronesian languages."

The obituary also notes that "as a longtime department chair, Bender was active in the LSA, directing the large LSA Summer Institute in Honolulu in 1977 cohosted by the University of Hawai'i and the East-West Center. He was also a member of the LSA Program Committee in 1987–89, as chair in the final year, and was the first official LSA Parliamentarian in 1995–97."