|Birth: ||Sep. 15, 1925|
|Death: ||Nov. 17, 2010|
Richard E. Benson, 85, one of ``the Few, the Proud, the Marines,' passed away in the early morning of November 17, 2010, after a lengthy illness to join our Heavenly Father and his wife, Phyllis.
Richard was preceded in death in 1935 by his devoted mother, Alice Bessie (nee Little); in 1941 by his hard-working father, Richard Oscar; in 1973 by his sister, Glendon Overholt; in 2009 by his loving wife of 62 years, Phyllis June Benson (nee Marion); and in 2010 by his brother Clyde Little Benson.
Born September 15th, 1925 to a sharecropping family near Brownfield, Texas, Richard worked the cotton fields with his family during the early years of the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression. Alternating between Brownfield, Texas, and Akron, Ohio, Richard held jobs at the Vandersall Market in junior high school and at Akron Goodyear Aircraft where he built Corsairs while he attended North High School. Enlisting in the United States Marine Corps in Nov. 1943, completing boot camp at Parris Island, S.C., in January 1944 and training camp in Hawaii in March 1945, Richard fought alongside his comrades of the 8th AAA Battalion during the Battle of Okinawa, April 17, 1945 through June 1945. Richard left Okinawa on October 22, 1945, as a corporal and was honorably discharged in March 1946.
Having been introduced to Phyllis at the McKinley Avenue Church of God by her friend and his sister, Glendon, Richard married Phyllis on November 1st, 1947.
Richard worked at Goodrich after World War II and at Akron Grocery; beginning in 1948, he worked for the East Ohio Gas Company from which he retired as a foreman in the customer service department in 1985. Richard and Phyllis had two children, John Edward and Elizabeth Anne.
Richard was a member of the McKinley Avenue Church of God where he served in various capacities. For many years, Richard served in Firestone Park as the assistant scoutmaster of Troop 26, Great Trail Council of the Boy Scouts of America. He took his family on many extensive vacations and instilled in them a love of travel and an appreciation of nature and of history. Richard's hobby of household projects always provided him with hours of joy; he enjoyed many years of annual fishing trips to Canada. Richard and Phyllis became active in the USMC 8th AAA Battalion Reunion in 1977 and served proudly on the reunion committee until 2005. Richard and Phyllis attended The Chapel (Fir Hill) from 1976 until 2009 as members of the Inheritors class, led by Pastor Jim Dull.
During his retirement, Richard cared for his grandchildren with total devotion; he and Phyllis traveled extensively and also attended the annual USMC reunions, with the final reunion in 2004 in Washington, DC.
Richard is survived by his brother, Roy (Vangie) of Van Buren; by his son and daughter-in-law, John and Linda Benson; by his daughter and son-in-law, Elizabeth and Tim Colligan; by his devoted grandchildren, Josh Benson, Christopher Colligan, Courtney Colligan, and great-granddaughter, Carly Benson. Richard's family will treasure his example and influence as they remember him as a man of humility, love, sacrifice and integrity. He personified the ``Greatest Generation.' Semper Fidelis.
Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery
Plot: Section 11 Plot 2967
Created by: Douglas King
Record added: Nov 30, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 62330725
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