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 Donald A Benchley

Donald A Benchley

Birth
Evanston, Cook County, Illinois, USA
Death 13 Jan 2017 (aged 91)
Elgin, Kane County, Illinois, USA
Burial Hampshire, Kane County, Illinois, USA
Memorial ID 175487538 · View Source
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HAMPSHIRE - Donald A. Benchley, age 91, died in the early morning January 13, 2017, of natural causes at Highland Oaks in Elgin. He was a no frills guy, honest to your face, hardworking, and dedicated to His God and family. Don is survived by his wife, Joyce, his four children, Jeffrey Benchley (Terry), Janet Abramson (Robert), John Benchley, and Jason Benchley (Julie); eight grandchildren, Jeffrey Eric Benchley (Vanessa), Justin Allen Benchley (Iriss), Courtney Benchley Torelli (Joseph), Brittany Benchley May (Edward), Julie Abramson Brosnan (Scott), Marjorie Abramson Kranz (Jason), Jonathon Abramson (Sheena), Maxwell Benchley; and eight great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his BFF Larry Wedding. Don was preceded in death by his parents, Henry and Margaret Benchley. Don was born in Evanston Hospital April 24, 1925. After graduating from high school he entered the US Navy. He spent his tour on the aircraft carrier USS Salamaua in the Pacific, acting as a radio man. Near the end of his tour, he met Joyce, his wife of 69 years. Don was a natural salesman and he worked with his father in the furniture business, representing several furniture and lamp manufacturers, during which time he made many lifelong friends. He was trusted by his customers; if a piece of furniture was, in his words, "crap," he wouldn't sell it to them. After he and Joyce were married, they lived on George Street in Chicago, then moved to their first house on Ridge Road in Highland Park, and then to a larger home on Princeton Avenue, also in Highland Park. Their last move was to a farm in Hampshire, IL, in 1971. They raised or kept chickens, goats, turkeys, peacocks, horses, cows, as well as having many barn sales, and a massive garden. Don made full use of his military tuition exemption to take classes at Elgin Community College for 28 years, learning glass blowing, welding, and jewelry making. His found art welding projects were displayed in galleries and outdoors in Elgin. He took commissioned work for customers as well. He made scale models of animals, plants, and insects out of scrap metal and wood. Among his creations were a half-scale giraffe, a one-third-scale allosaurus, a full-scale silverback gorilla, a miniature buffalo, a full-scale human skeleton, a family of turtles, and a 4' tall spider. Don also worked at the Taylor YMCA front desk for many years, as an EMT for the Hampshire Fire Department, and at the Superwash car wash in Hampshire. In each job, he made friends and did what he could to make each customer's day better. He was also a member of the 1st United Method Church in Hampshire. Don's most meaningful and fulfilling time was spent ministering to the homeless and those in jail through the Wayside Cross Ministries. He spent more than 20 years going to Aurora and Elgin, providing Bible study, life lessons, and advice to those who most needed it. He was Wayside's Volunteer of the Year in 1999. Don was an exceptional example of how to conduct oneself as a husband, father, grandfather, mentor, and child of God. Visitation will be at Fredrick Funeral Home, 284 Park Street, in Hampshire, IL, on Saturday, January 21, 2017, from 10 AM until noon. The memorial service will follow, also at Fredrick, from noon until 1 PM. Our good friend Reverend Calvin Culpepper will be presiding. Don's dedication to his ministry, and his no frills attitude in life, would lead us to request that donations be made to the following, in lieu of flowers: Wayside Ministries 1732 Berkley Street Elgin IL 60123 or First United Methodist Church 207 E. Grove Avenue Hampshire IL 60140.

Published in Chicago Suburban Daily Herald on Jan. 18, 2017


Family Members

Spouse
Gravesite Details 3/12/2018 Posted photos of Benchley's headstone at Hampshire Center Cemetery. His ashes were scattered but they do have a stone. I suggest they both be entered in the cemetery but with a note that ashes were scattered elsewhere
Melaine Howe

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  • Created by: Larry60109
  • Added: 18 Jan 2017
  • Find A Grave Memorial 175487538
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Donald A Benchley (24 Apr 1925–13 Jan 2017), Find A Grave Memorial no. 175487538, citing Hampshire Center Cemetery, Hampshire, Kane County, Illinois, USA ; Maintained by Larry60109 (contributor 46513926) Unknown.