Benton, Donald Ray
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formerly of Sun City passed away on Thursday, February 7, 2013 at the age of 79. He was born on December 10, 1933 in Hazard, Kentucky. Don came to the Phoenix area in 1947 where he apprenticed to and later became a member of the Phoenix Painters Union. In 1955, Don joined the Navy and served aboard the U.S.S. Alfred A. Cunningham for two years, followed by two more years as a member of the Seabees. He was a lifetime member of the Sunnyslope VFW Post 9400. He married Jean Elaine Ludwig on December 23, 1955 and they were blessed with one daughter, Donna Jean in 1962. In 1969, he went to work for Motorola in Mesa in the Paint Shop, where he worked until 1973, when the family moved to Durant, Oklahoma. They lived there before returning to Phoenix in 1990. They retired to Sun City in 1999. He was preceded in death by his mother, Violanta (Baker) Brown in 1978, his father Willie Clay Benton in 1988, a granddaughter, Elizabeth Kathryn Day in 1996, and his wife of 53 years, Jean Elaine Benton in 2008. He is survived by his daughter, Donna; son-in-law, Tony Day; and granddaughter Mary Elaine all of Plano, Texas. Don never met a stranger, and was always there for his friends and neighbors. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him. A Memorial Service for Don has been scheduled for Thursday, February 14, 2013 at the Memorial Chapel at the Samaritan Funeral Home at 1505 E McDowell Rd in Phoenix from 5:00pm to 8:00pm. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to any local Veteran's Hospital or to the local VFW Post.
Published in The Arizona Republic on Feb. 13, 2013