Obituary of James Charles Benson
“The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep.” -Robert Frost James “Jim” Charles Benson, 74, of Whitney, was born on March 7, 1946, in Sherburn, Minnesota, and passed away on May 22, 2020. Jim was the sixth of nine children, born to Ralph and Louise Benson of Sherburne, Minnesota. He was preceded in death by both of his parents, sisters Eva “Tooti” Dohle and Susan “Susie” Peterson, and brother Thomas “Tommy” Benson. He is survived by brothers Richard “Dick” Benson of Bakersfield, CA; John “Jack” Benson of Hillsboro, TX; Donald “Eddie” Benson of Hayden, Idaho; Robert “Bobby” Benson of Burbank, CA; sister Linda Young of Lodi, CA; and their spouses and children. Jim also leaves behind daughter Amy Benson of Arlington, TX; son Troy Benson of Granbury, TX; friend and former wife Anna Jessen of Whitney, TX; and his loving and faithful dogs Dodger and Juls. He loved his kids, his dogs, and his family unwaveringly, and they all miss him terribly. Jim joined the Navy and did three tours in Vietnam, where he witnessed unspeakable horrors and returned to be treated unfairly. Despite the hardships, fighting for his country was a source of great pride; and he subsequently tried throughout his life to be a good man, to stand up for what was right, and to see people as people--regardless of their backgrounds, upbringing, religion, orientation, color of skin, or wallet size. He didn’t judge because he knew what being judged felt like, and he encouraged others to do the same. He was a “Jim of All Trades” and throughout his life worked for Jergens Manufacturing Plant, served as a shipping and receiving foreman, worked for Whitney ISD, worked in security and maintenance, provided landscaping services for White Bluff Resort, and worked on a ranch in Batesville, TX, with his son. He worked hard, and did jobs that a lot of us could or would never do. But he did them with pride, and passed that philosophy and work ethic to his children. He was proud. And stubborn. And strong. And funny. And compassionate. And he never, ever met a stranger. He always had a story to tell, or a perspective to share, and was the absolute King of All Dad Jokes. (One of his favorites: “So, I got a new henweigh the other day…” “What’s a henweigh??” “Oh, about 4-5 pounds.” <cue the hysterical laughter>) He made people LAUGH. And laughter made him smile. He LOVED practical jokes and surprises, and was always so pleased when he pulled them off successfully. He loved food. And sports. And food with sports. He taught Amy everything she knows about football, and he never missed one of Troy’s baseball, basketball, or football games. He was the team’s biggest—and loudest—fan and really enjoyed representing his “Benson, Born to Raise Hell” tattoo. He may or may not have been asked to leave a few Little League games…heavy on the “may.” Some called it obnoxious; he called it passionate. And passionate he was. If you ever had the pleasure of seeing him about town, you no doubt got an earful about one of his kids. He was a very proud father—and the absence of his genuine, unrelenting pride and love has left a hole that will forever remain unfilled. Jim Benson had a difficult time seeing the goodness that others saw in him, and he would be amazed and humbled by the outpouring of love and the sharing of memories that are indicative of the positive impact he had on his family and in his community. His purpose in life was to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, and to have it make some difference that he had lived and lived well. You sure did that, Dad. The woods are lovely, dark and deep. You kept your promises. You earned your sleep. Jim will be cremated and interred at the DFW National Cemetery, where he will receive military funeral honors. No service has yet been scheduled due to COVID restrictions. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations in his name to the Gary Sinise Foundation, whose mission is to honor defenders, veterans, first responders, and their families.