William E. "Bill" Benson, 82, passed away on Friday, Feb. 16, 2018, at the Alexandria Care Center following an extended illness.
He was born on July 31, 1935, at Rushville, Indiana, to Elmer and Amy (Hancock) Benson and has lived in Alexandria periodically for several years. He attended Rushville schools. In his early teens, Bill started caddying at the Rushville Golf Course. He also worked for the International Furniture Company at Rushville. Bill was a member of the Rushville Church of God. Bill took his skill in upholstery and made a career from it. He owned and operated Benson's Upholstery in Phoenix, Arizona, from 1950 to 2013. During his Indiana time, he was known for his custom car upholstery when he worked for the Graham Brothers in Tipton in the 1960s. Bill was said to have installed the custom interior in one of Bill Gaither's first custom touring coaches. He also crafted a custom Nomex suit for Al Unser.
Survivors include wife, Charlene (Lanning) Benson, married July 4, 1986; four daughters, Kathy Pierce and Kristie Jimenez, both of Alexandria, and Karen Benson and Karena Melendez, both of Phoenix, Arizona; two sons, William H. (Carla) Benson and Robert Benson, both of Alexandria; 22 grandchildren; 21 great-grandchildren; three sisters, Francis Myers, Sun City, Arizona, Marcena Blanton of Phoenix, Arizona, and Nancy Boggs in Hawaii; two brothers, Rick Benson in Texas and Dave Benson in Arizona; two stepchildren, Scott Odum and Melissa Gibbs, both of Rushville; and several nieces and nephews, including a special niece, Michelle Guerrero and her three children.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his first wife, Iva Benson; two brothers, Bob Benson and Leon Benson; a grandson, Justin Benson, in 2010; and son-in-law, Tom Pierce.
Services honoring Bill's life and legacy will take place at 1 p.m. on Thursday in the Owens Funeral Home, 412 N. Harrison St., Alexandria, with Pastor Jerry Young officiating. Interment will follow in Park View Cemetery in Alexandria. Friends may call at the Owens Funeral Home after 11 a.m. on Thursday prior to the services.
Memorial contributions are suggested to the Activity Fund of the Alexandria Care Center through the funeral home.
On-line condolences: www.owensmemorialservices.com.
Published on February 17, 2018