Robert Wayne Benson passed away on Aug. 12, 2018, at Solon Care Center.
Family will be celebrating Robert with a private service, but in honor of Robert's memory, memorials may be directed to the Robert W. Benson Memorial Fund in care of Julie Hayek.
Bob was born in Burlington, Iowa, on Sept. 15, 1924, to Signa (Swanson) and Paul Nels Benson. Bob graduated from Burlington High School and was president of his senior class, 1943. During World War II, Bob enlisted in the Army and served as a combat medic in the 165th Infantry Regiment, 27th Infantry Division. He fought in the Battle of Saipan and the Battle of Okinawa, earning a Bronze Star, among other awards.
After the war, Bob returned to the University of Iowa, where he was a member of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity and met Jacqueline Louise Shellady. They married on Sept. 6, 1947, at the First United Methodist Church of Iowa City. Bob graduated with a degree in general sciences. Soon after, they moved to Burlington where Bob owned and operated Union Supply Company with his brother, Paul E. Benson.
Bob served as president of the Burlington Golf Club, president of the Chamber of Commerce, a member of the board of directors for Burlington Bank and Trust, and on the board for Messiah Lutheran Church. He also was active in Elks, Kiwanis, poker club and dance club. His other interests included hunting, fishing, gardening, cooking, oil painting, reading, Hawkeye football and basketball, golf, wintering in Florida for nearly 50 years, and spending time with his family and grandchildren.
Bob was a true gentleman who brought out the best in the people around him. He always had a great big smile and a twinkle in his eye his zest for life. In 2000, Bob and Jackie moved back to Iowa City, where they rejoined the Methodist Church. They were married 69 years before Jackie's death in 2016.
Robert Benson is survived by his son, Robert S. Benson; daughter, Julie Benson Hayek (C. Peter); four grandchildren, Benjamin P. Hayek (Jaclyn), Robert W. Benson, David J. Hayek (Sarah) and Molly E. Herrick (Joseph); six great-grandchildren, Ava Herrick, Anna Hayek, Jack Herrick, Elsie Hayek, Will Hayek and Walker Hayek; two nieces, Barbara Benson Howell and Susan Benson Todd; one nephew, John P. Benson; and one cousin, Shirley Carlson.
Online condolences may be made at www.lensingfuneral.com.