Ben Shennum, son, husband, father, grandfather and uncle, lived until July 27, 2014 when the cancer which he had valiantly fought for many years took him. Ben was born Oct 24, 1921 to John A. and Adella M Shennum in Scobey, MT. He was one of 7 children raised on the family homestead. He lived and worked in Northeastern Montana until the outbreak of WWII. He completed an accelerated engineering program at Billings Polytechnic College, now Rocky Mountain College. Ben was proud of his varsity letter for boxing at "Poly". After completing the program, Ben was hired at the Boeing Aircraft Company as an engineer in the B-17 program. After the war ended, he returned to Montana and worked with his father on the family farm and taught in a one room schoolhouse near the homestead. In 1950, he married Christine Reynolds and the two were married for over 64 years. They have three children, Linda Shennum (of Cottonwood, AZ), Barry Shennum (of Phoenix, AZ) and Jay (and Pat) Shennum (of Charlotte, NC). They made their home in Scobey, operating a real estate/insurance office and a flying service with his brother, Jim. Ben was an avid pilot, logging several thousand hours in the air. The family later moved to Missoula, MT and lived several years where Ben managed a loan company and was a real estate salesman. In 1969, Ben and Christine packed up their family and belongings and moved to Anchorage, Alaska where they were in the real estate, construction and insurance businesses for 42 years. Ben and the family operated CENTURY 21 Shennum Realty, a company that was the 9th most productive franchise in the system one of those years. Ben had a passion for teaching and training sales people and one of his favorite sayings was "nothing happens until a salesman sells something" Ben and Christine were active in their churches First Assembly of God, Christian Life Fellowship, and Muldoon Community Assembly where Ben served on the Boards of Directors and other positions for many years. Ben was fully engaged in politics serving in the grassroots of political activity. Many state leaders called Ben their friend and advisor. Ben and Christine had a heart for missions and they made several trips to the Island of Ponape and the Philippines, a country that held a special place for them. They put a young Philipino missionary couple through Bible College, an investment that has been multiplied untold times. Ben was preceded in death by his parents John, Sr. and "Della" Shennum, siblings, Joe Shennum, Pearl Murray, Harry Shennum, Ruth Shennum Dahl, Jim Shennum, and John Shennum, Jr. He leaves wife, Christine, daughter Linda Shennum, sons Barry and Jay and his wife Pat, and grandson, Benjamin Neuls. He also leaves numerous nephews and nieces, many of whom considered Ben their "second" Dad. The family is planning a memorial service in Anchorage later and an internment on the family plot in Scobey in the future.
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Published in Alaska Dispatch News on July 30, 2014