Bruce Benson

BRUCE BURTON BENSON On March 9, 2013, our loving husband, father, brother, grandfather, uncle and friend Bruce Burton Benson went home to be with God. Born to Evelyn and Sten Benson on December 6, 1931, Bruce Barton Benson was the youngest of three siblings. His sister Lois, brother Warren, and he grew up in Chicago where his father was an executive with the Chicago Motor Club. The Benson family were long time members of the Moody Church. He often spoke of how grateful he was to his dad for moving them to Norwood Park where he attended schools and graduated from Taft High School. His grades were acceptable for college entrance, but he excelled in baseball and basketball. One of his favorite stories was getting to play in Wrigley Field when he was fourteen and again as a senior for the high school city championship. Another of his stories was about that time when the Chicago Cubs scout came to his home to talk about signing him. His father made it very clear that Bruce would not play on Sundays So, the scout left before he even made Bruce an offer. After high school, Bruce aimed to attend the University of Illinois and play baseball. His parents had other plans and had him whisked off to Wheaton College by the president. Once he arrived and settled in, he knew he was in the right place. As a freshman, he not only played on the varsity baseball team but basketball as well. After two years at Wheaton, he was drafted out of college and stationed at Fort Riley, Kansas toward the end of the Korean War. After serving his time in the Army, he returned to Wheaton to finish his degree. In 2007, Bruce was invited back to his Alma Mater to be inducted into their Athletic Hall of Honor. While at Wheaton, Bruce met and married Shirley VanderMolen, also a Wheaton graduate. They spent the first several years of their marriage with Bruce on the road as a part of the Baltimore Orioles franchise trying to make it to the big leagues. After their first child and one on the way, he gave up the dream and became a teacher/coach first at Wheaton Academy. They later moved to Michigan where he also taught and coached at Muskegon. He went back to school to get his masters in administration. Once doing so, he became a principal and assistant principal at Byron Center and Kelloggsville. Bruce later met and married a Texas girl, Nancy (Hawthorne) Benson. They were wed in Winnetka, Illinois, before she transplanted him to Corpus Christi, Texas, in 1978. He taught and later became the K-8 principal at Agua Dulce. He resigned that job to become P.E. itinerant for the Corpus Christi Independent School District where he retired from CCISD in 1998. He was an active member of Island in the Son United Methodist Church where he served as secretary for the United Methodist Men, Worship Team Member, Leadership Team Member, and delegate alternate to the annual conference. He also served on the conference committee for the annual senior retreat. Bruce and Nancy have been active members of the Corpus Christi Area Retired Teachers Association for the past four years where he served on the program committee. Bruce was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Dr. Warren Benson (Lenore). Bruce is survived by his wife of 34 years, Nancy Benson; his five children: Brent Benson (Debbi) of Moscow, Idaho; Brenda Buckley (Dennis) of Chatsworth, California, Brad Benson of Parker, Colorado, Beth Benson-Swain (Blair) of Scottsdale, Arizona, and Blake Benson (Sandy) of Phoenix, Arizona; his sister Lois (Dave) Gotaas of Rockford, Illinois; nine grandchildren: David Benson, Brooks and Brock Benson, Colin and Kyle Grubbs, Katie and Sarah Swain, and Pierce and Chase Benson as well as four great grandchildren: Nathan, Lydia, Sierra, and Divianna Benson. He is also survived by numerous loving nieces and nephews who all held special places in his heart. Bruce will be remembered for never meeting a stranger, his gift for gab, his many detailed stories, but mostly his love for God, his wife, and his love and great pride in his kids and grandkids. A memorial service to celebrate his life will be held on April 20, 2013 at 4:00 p.m. at Island in the Son United Methodist Church in Corpus Christi, Texas. In lieu of flowers, it was the wish of Bruce and Nancy that donations be made in Bruce 's name to the ALS Association for research to find a cure for the disease that recently took the life of Nancy 's sister and Bruce 's sister-in-law, Sarah.

Published in Suburban Life Publications on Mar. 18, 2013