LELAND — Donald Edward “Don” Benson, 76, of Lanvale Road, died peacefully Wednesday, July 31, 2019, at his home following a long illness. Born March 4, 1943, in Sarasota, Florida, he traveled the globe with his military family from Japan to French Morocco and many USA states in between.
He graduated from the base high school in French Morocco and joined the U.S. Navy. He served on a carrier off the coast of Florida during a difficult time for the United States in the Kennedy era. He attended East Carolina University, then went to South Vietnam, working for American Express.
Returning from Vietnam, he worked in commercial construction for 20-plus years before opening his own residential construction company in 1992. He loved traveling and scouting out land and building homes; his employees were his extended family. He enjoyed hosting pig pickings for employees, colleagues and family groups and grilling steaks for the extended family, including his mother-in-law’s “Golden Girls” pool party group. Don loved his doggy family and could be spotted driving around subdivisions with his black poodle, Megan, in the front seat. He received a difficult medical diagnosis in 2006 and retired in 2009.
Don was a member of St. Matthews Evangelical Lutheran Church, helping in various ways.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Roscoe Edward and Ava McCoy Benson; and brother, James “Jim” Benson.
He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Judith Gainey Benson; daughter, Heather Leanne Benson; son, Roger Stanley; grandsons, Anthony Trull and Sean Bryant; sister and brother-in-law, Debby and Danny Young; nieces, Yuzette Benson Smith and Michelle Thompson Zavetsky; great-nieces, Wendy Willams and Kalyn Smith; and great-nephews, Zachary and Noah Zavetsky.
The family extends its deepest gratitude to Dr. Kira Alatar and staff for her many years of positive and thoughtful care, the wonderfully caring members of the Leland EMS squad and to Cindy Lawrence, R.N., BSN, MSN and Dr. John M. Reynolds of DUMC.
Services will be held at 3 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 3, at St. Matthews Evangelical Lutheran Church, 612 S. College Road, Wilmington. Internment will follow at 4 p.m. in Greenlawn Cemetery, located at the corner of Shipyard Boulevard and 16th Street. The family will receive visitors prior to services at the church.
Share online condolences with the family at Andrews Mortuary & Crematory.