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James Henry ‘Jimmy’ Benson, 90, remembered for his joyful service and ministry outreach within the community

James Henry 'Jimmy' Benson
James Henry ‘Jimmy’ Benson

WILMINGTON — James Henry “Jimmy” Benson, 90, moved to his eternal home Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2018.

Jimmy was born March 16, 1928, in Wilmington, son of the late Joseph Accom and Mary Elizabeth (Lizzie) Benson. A lifelong resident of Wilmington, he spent his teenage years boxing at the local gym and roller skating at a local rink. He was even invited to skate with a professional team. For over 30 years, Jimmy worked as a lineman and a cable repairman for Southern Bell (now AT&T).

The most important, life-changing event for Jimmy was giving his heart and life to Jesus Christ. Those who knew Jimmy before and after his conversion, know his life was radically changed. Every night, Jimmy would walk the beach talking to God, asking Him questions and learning to walk in His ways.

At a church event, Jimmy met Anna Edna Critcher. They began dating and soon fell in love. Jimmy married Anna, the love of his life, Dec. 2, 1967. Their marriage has been marked with joyful service and ministry outreach within their community. Leading praise and worship over the years at Seagate Community Chapel with Anna was such a joy for Jimmy. He will always be remembered with having a song of praise on his lips or “playing the trumpet” to make special music of praise.

Jimmy also loved the ocean, fishing and all water sports. He spent countless hours fishing and making friends at the beach. Jimmy, who never met a stranger, would easily engage everyone he met. His signature greeting to everyone was, “Happy Jesus Day!” The family of Jimmy Benson now celebrates that he has experienced his happiest Happy Jesus Day as he entered the presence of His heavenly Father.

Jimmy is survived by his beloved wife of 51 years, Anna Benson; son, James Kent Benson, and his wife, Susie, of Charlotte; two daughters, Charlotte Roxanne Smith of Charlotte and Angela Leigh Roberts of Kannapolis; eight grandchildren, Dana House, and her husband, Randy, Bradley Purser, and his wife, Tara, Jason Barr, and his wife, Jennifer, Jennifer Roberts, Kacie Roberts, David Benson, and his wife, Jacki, Michael Benson and Rachel Benson; 11 great-grandchildren, Scottie House, Landon House, Will Purser, Michael Purser, Grayson Purser, Kory Woods, Caleb Ford, Josie Barr, William Benson, Timothy Benson and Esther Benson; as well as many beloved nieces, nephews, their spouses and children. Jimmy is also survived by a sister-in-law, Cotty Potter; and brother-in-law, Kenneth Sexton, their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren who all loved their “Jimboo” very much.

Jimmy was preceded in death by his first wife, Margaret “Peggy” Josephine Fields Benson; son, Zachary Keith Benson; grandson, James Scott Purser; and all eight siblings.

Jimmy’s family would like to thank the loving staff of Carillon Assisted Living facility of Fuquay-Varina for all the wonderful care given to Jimmy while he and Anna resided there. The family would also like to thank Transitions Lifecare for the excellent care they provided to Jimmy in his last hours.

A memorial service will be held at 3:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 12, at One in Christ Center (formerly Seagate Community Chapel), 5823 Oleander Drive, Wilmington.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation or charity of choice.

Share online condolences with the family at Coble Ward-Smith Funeral & Cremation Service.

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