Benjamin (Ben) Zacharias Benson

After battling cancer for more than a decade, Benjamin (Ben) Zacharias Benson, age 78, passed away peacefully while in hospice care at Georgia War Veteran’s Home in Milledgeville, Georgia. He was born on February 22, 1942, in Pensacola, Florida, to Willie Isaac Benson and Hazel Turberville Benson. During childhood, he developed his love for gardening, fishing, hunting, cooking, family time and southern traditions. He loved to play the French horn, piano, and, most especially, the trumpet. After he graduated from Pensacola Technical High School in 1960, he enlisted in the U. S. Navy in August of the same year. On February 8, 1964, he married the love of his life, Rose Marie McWilliams, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Bushwood, Maryland. He was a flight crew member on various types of aircraft, including patrol and cargo planes. Tours included stations all over the world, including missions in Vietnam for three years. The family moved to several duty stations on the East Coast and Hawaii over his twenty-year career, providing special memories of each location. Following his retirement from the Navy in 1980 at Patuxent River, Maryland, he worked as a civil servant. One of his favorite positions was quality assurance specialist for the Hubble Telescope project at Applied Physics Lab Johns Hopkins, Columbia, Maryland. He earned numerous awards for his exemplary service throughout his military and civil service careers. When he finally retired, Ben and his wife moved to Pennsylvania to be near his sister and her family. There, he achieved the level of 4th Degree in the Knights of Columbus. He returned to Pensacola to care for his mother in her later years, finally settling in Georgia, where most of his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren reside.

Throughout Ben’s life, he continued to love gardening, and he planted trees, flowers and vegetables wherever he lived. He shared his knowledge of hunting and fishing with his children and grandchildren, teaching each one how to bait a hook and fish with cane poles. He loved music and playing cards, especially “pitch”.

Along with his parents, Ben Benson is preceded in death by his two sisters, Hazel Kathleen Benson (FL) and Elizabeth Caledonia “Cal” Benson Cowell (Sheffield, PA) as well Cal’s husband, Maj. Crispin J. Cowell, USMC. Along with his wife, he is survived by his children: Ann Marie Benson Ameye (Michael Richard Ameye, Woodstock, GA), William “Bill” Patrick Benson (Armida Dano, Revere, MA), David Austin Benson (Cartersville, GA) and Marian Rose Benson Wright (Acworth, GA); seven grandchildren: Samantha Shelby Benson (VA) & Andrew Christopher Benson (VA), Jackson George Ameye (GA) & Sarah Ann Ameye Mazzarella (Joshua Vincent Mazzarella, GA), and Caitlyn Rose Wright (GA), Zachary Aaron Wright (GA) & Dominic Duncan Wright (GA); two great-grandchildren: Grason Thomas Mazzarella (GA) and James Michael Ameye (GA), and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.

The family of Ben Benson welcome relatives and friends for visitation on Wednesday, April 8, 2020, at 10AM at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Bushwood, Maryland, followed by a memorial service at 11AM. Internment will immediately follow at Sacred Heart Cemetery. Flowers are accepted or memorial contributions may be made to the Knights of Columbus Council #9458, 110 N. Jefferson St. NE, Milledgeville, GA 31061.

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