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Lindley Estes is a business writer for The Free Lance-Star and This blog is on Fredericksburg-area business. Send an e-mail to Lindley Estes.

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Fredericksburg business closed after owner’s death

A wreath outside Goldbenders in downtown Fredericksburg memorializes longtime owner Mike Bender.

A downtown Fredericksburg business has permanently closed due to the longtime owner’s death early last month.

Michael Bender for many years ran Goldbenders at 110 Hanover St. The store offered custom-designed jewelry and repairs.

Bender lived in an apartment above the shop, which was near the Caroline Street intersection. Friends found his body in the apartment last month.

Trish Schornagel, who was a jewelry artist at Goldbenders and has now moved to Gemstone Creations on Caroline Street, said Bender apparently died of a heart attack. Schornagel has been working to make sure everyone who had jewelry at Goldbenders has gotten it back.

Tommy Mitchell owns the 2,300-square-foot building that served as Bender’s business and personal home. The building has not yet been re-offered for lease.

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