Obituary for Bruce M. Benson
December 9, 1924 – February 09, 2020
(Video: KOAM gets reaction on the passing of Bruce Benson)
Bruce M. Benson was born December 9, 1924, to Edmund and Florence (Montgomery) Benson in Akron, Ohio. He has been a resident of Webb City for 73 years moving here from Akron to join his bride, Jane Van Hoose Benson, of Webb city. Before being drafted into military service, he attended Miami University, Oxford, OH, majoring in Business Administration with a minor in music where he was a member of Sigma Chi Alpha Chapter.
Bruce was one of “the greatest generation” who served our country as part of the U.S. Army in WWII. Prior to overseas duty, Bruce was stationed at Ft. Crowder in Neosho, MO where he met Jane, his wife of 68 years. He was playing in the band and she was dancing with the USO. They had four children; Susie Crutcher (Ron), Lori Stenson (Randy), and David Benson (Jeanne), and Van Benson (Tammy); 12 grandchildren, and 24 great-grandchildren, with number 25 on the way.
Bruce’s first assignment was with General MacArthur’s Rear Echelon in the Philippines on a 33-man single team as an installer/repairman/telephone/telegraph at the Quezon Institute. His second assignment placed him in the trumpet section of the 281st AGF 60-piece band under the direction of Warrant Officer Frank Chemay.
Music has always been an an important part of the Benson family’s life. During his career as owner of The Contemporary Shop and a charter pilot for Mizzou Aviation, he also led a four-piece combo called “Madison Street” with his two sons and friend, J.R. Driskill. Even in later years, Bruce continued to hone his skills on the cornet by taking lessons himself and took great joy in passing on his love of music to the younger generation through music lessons. Right up to the end, Bruce remained active playing along with the organ on Sunday mornings at First Presbyterian Webb City and since August of 2016 he has played Taps every night at sunset facing the flag at the Webb City Post Office. He was a member of American Legion Post #322, Bugles Across America, an organization that provides live bugle Taps at military services, and has volunteered for the Salvation Army Christmas bucket brigade.
Bruce befriended and held close everyone with whom he came in contact. He loved people and promised his dear Janie, following her death, that he would continue to lead the family in Christian faith, family love and patriotism. Well done, Dad!
The family will be gathering and welcoming friends on Wednesday, February 12th from 6-8 PM at the King Jack Park Mining Days Event Center, 7-3 Dawson Drive in Webb City. A memorial service will be held Thursday, February 13th at 11 AM at the First Presbyterian Church of Webb City. In lieu of flowers, tribute contributions may be made to the Webb City Senior Center, 210 Pennsylvania, Webb City MO, 64870 or Charlie 22 Outdoors, which provides outdoor activities to our nation’s veterans, 1520 Gold Dust Drive, Webb City, MO 64870.
The family wishes to thank so many friends and acquaintances who have expressed condolences for our beloved Dad, Grandad, and “Pops”.