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Shalom Memorial Park
1700 West Rand Road
Arlington Heights, IL 60004-9607
(847) 255-3520

Irving Benjamin


1929 - 2014 | Obituary Condolences
Irving Benjamin Obituary
iconIn the presence of his loving daughter, Sherrie, friend Syd, and kind and devoted caregivers, Linda and Connie, Irving Benjamin passed peacefully to be with his beloved wife, Rita, on the morning of February 20, 2014. Born on June 8, 1929 in Chicago, to Frank and Jenny he grew up in Chicago until the passing of his father when he was 13. His mother then married Sydney Rosenthal (Papa Sydney) and the family moved to Memphis, TN where Irving finished High School. He and his mother, enjoyed a closeness that would rival any, until her death in 1980. He returned to Chicago where he met and later married Rita on November 19, 1950, a marriage, "childhood romance", that would last 59 years, until her death in December of 2009. Those who knew Irv during the last few years of Rita's life, would know him as a devoted husband, who spent his days doting over and comforting Rita. Anyone spending time at Brentwood North Nursing Center during this time would also tell you of his undeniable gift of schmooze, charm and kibitz, and at times, his sense of humor, a Benjamin trait through and through. With three small children and his wife at home, Irv's drive to make a good life for his family took over. After 10 years of night classes, in 1968, he graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in mathematics. Somehow, he also made time to be a scout leader and coach little league. Irv retired in 1992 as the Asst. Bureau Chief of the Cook County Highway department, having served 42 years. He was a proud member of the Illinois Society of Professional Engineers, until the day he died, and would tell anyone who would listen (and many who wouldn't) about the exploits of his department and the influence they had on building the roads to the suburbs of Chicago. He briefly came out of retirement for his last big project as a part of the crew that moved the intersection of Hintz and Wolf Roads by what was then Palwaukee Airport, now Chicago Executive Airport, in order to accommodate a longer runway for larger planes. Driving in a car in Cook County with Irv was like having your own county historian, as his knowledge of the road system was uncanny. Irv and Rita raised their family in Chicago in the East Rogers Park Neighborhood until Sherrie, their youngest entered the eighth grade, when they moved to Wheeling, IL and kept a home until 2004. They subsequently moved to Buffalo Grove. Irving is survived by his sons Fred (Sharon) Benjamin, of Owasso, OK and Mark (Gayle) Benjamin of San Diego, CA, and daughters Pam (Paul) Monheimer of Portland, OR and Sherrie (Steve) Marchi of Palatine, IL. He is also survived by his grandchildren Brandon Benjamin, Erin (Bobby) Hunter, Nicole (Darren) Freedman, Jonathan "Hockey Wrenches" Benjamin, Noa Monheimer and Nolan and James Marchi, as well as nieces, nephews and cousins. Irv was a lifelong Chicago sports fan, especially devoted to the Chicago Cubs¿sigh. He often spent times recounting his time in the sun for an open tryout with his beloved team on the hallowed grounds of Wrigley Field when he was a teenager, but alas, Jenny "Didn't want no Baseball bum!" "If they just would have offered me a contract," Irv would say, "I would have brought them the pennant!" No doubt in my mind, Irv. I can see you out there now, patrolling center field with your cap pulled down low over your eyes and your pants pulled up high under your knees. At the bat, choking up and slapping the ball into the gap for a hustle double, going into second base with your cleats high in a cloud of dust. SAFE! In the words of one of the greatest of all baseball songs¿"Put me in coach, I'm ready to play!" Arrangements: Memorial service February 25, 12:15 PM at the Chapel at Shalom Memorial Park, 1700 W Rand Rd, Arlington Heights, IL 60004. Interment to follow. Memorials to "Baseball Oyate", c/o Sherrie Marchi, 268 N. Clyde, Palatine, IL, 60067, Baseballoyate.org.

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Published in Chicago Tribune from Feb. 22 to Feb. 23, 2014
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