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Roy L. Benson

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FINDLAY — Roy L. Benson, age 87, of Van Buren, died at 7:40 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020, at his residence, surrounded by those who loved him.
Roy was born Sept. 22, 1932, in the small town of Brownfield in the Dust Bowl region of West Texas to Richard Oscar and Alice Bessie (Little) Benson.
Roy is survived by his wife of 62 years, Vangie Benson, and their three children, Rebecca Miller, Randall (Susan) Benson and Molly Benson. Roy also was an adoring “Papa” to five grandchildren, Cody (Alyssa) Miller, Alex (Jessica) Benson, Samantha Benson, Sophie Miller and Sarah Benson; and a great-granddaughter, MacKenzie Benson.
Preceding him in death were his siblings, Clyde Benson, Glendon Overholt and Richard Benson.
Roy, the youngest of four surviving children, lost both of his parents at a tender age and was raised by his extended family, who brought him to Akron as a toddler.
As a young boy, Roy carried mail, stocked shelves, attended church and developed a deep attachment to the national pastime of baseball. Through his radio and his imagination, the young Roy (or “Bub” as he was known) was transported to ballparks in cities throughout the country. The giants of the game and their batting statistics became his first subjects of serious study, with many others to follow.
Roy joined the U.S. Navy in 1952. He served four years, with much of that time on board the aircraft carrier USS Bennington, including during the Korean War.
Upon discharge, Roy returned to his home church in Akron for a service and eyed a pretty new face in the church choir. Evangeline (Vangie) Booher was new to Akron from her studies at Marion College in Indiana. Roy and Vangie were engaged just four weeks after meeting and were married a few months later on June 15, 1957. While their courtship was brief, their marriage lasted nearly 63 years.
Roy earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Anderson College in Indiana in 1961. Upon college graduation, Roy and Vangie moved their young family to Findlay, where Roy had been recruited by Marathon Oil to work as an accountant. Roy’s natural love of education led him to begin legal studies as a night student, earning a juris doctor degree from the University of Toledo College of Law in 1966.
Together, Roy and Vangie cultivated in their family a passion for education, history, politics and faith.
Roy enjoyed his Christian faith from a spiritual and intellectual perspective. He cherished the Bible and found some of the Old Testament stories very compelling; the story of Joseph was a favorite. He could quote scripture but only as the humblest of followers, and he recognized and respected the Christian tradition as the foundation of country and culture. Roy loved America and Americana, but also had an international perspective and developed lasting friendships with people from around the world.
In his later years, Roy returned to his beloved baseball and coached high school boys in the local Fall Ball League for 13 years, until he was 82.
Through the years, many of those young men have shared with Roy that they learned more from him than just the fundamentals of baseball.
To know Roy was to know his optimism and enthusiasm for people. He had a tremendous sense of humor, which was matched by a sense of perspective about life and the richness of human relationships. He loved big thinking, great literature and food.
As someone who never knew either of his parents, Roy was an extraordinarily devoted parent and grandparent and leaves a legacy of love to his family that will continue to influence its future generations.
Roy attended the College First Church of God and was a member of the Findlay American Legion.
Visitation is 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. Tuesday at Coldren-Crates Funeral Home in Findlay. A funeral service is 10 a.m. Wednesday at College First Church of God, 1100 N. Main St., Findlay. Pastor William Reist will officiate, in collaboration with family friend Jerry Murray. Interment will follow at Bechtel Cemetery in Van Buren, where the Hancock County Veterans Memorial Squad will provide full military rites.
Memorials may be given to Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758516, Topeka, KS 66675.
Online condolences are welcomed at coldrencrates.com.


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