William Curtis Benton(1921 - 2012)

Benton, William Curtis William Curtis Benton passed away Sunday, December 23rd in Grapevine, TX. He was born September 2, 1921, on a farm southeast of Amarillo, TX. to Charles Curtis Benton and Selma Martha Caroline Dittberner Benton. Curt got his pilot's license through the Civilian Pilot Training Program, which he started in 1939. He became a Civilian Army Primary instructor at Jones Field, Bonham TX in January 1942 until 1943. Curt joined the U. S. Marine Corps in May of 1943, and reported to Corpus Christi for flight training. He obtained his Naval Aviator wings in August of 1943. Curtis married Mary F. Van Hooser in June 1944. During his time in the Marine Corps, he was sent to Japan as part of the Occupation Forces in 1945. He attended the Amphibious Warfare School, served with observation squadron VMO-1, VMO-2, VMO-6, and fighter squadron VMF-225, Headquarters Squadron 11, and was helicopter qualified. He attended the Naval Post Graduate School and the California Institute of Technology. During 1956, Curt became the Commanding Officer of All Weather squadron VMF(AW)-513. He spent his last years in the Marine Corps working on ordnance testing and development at China Lake, CA, and Washington, DC. His favorite plane to fly had to be the F4U Corsair. Curt retired from the Marine Corps in 1963 and then worked for Rocketdyne located near Waco, TX, and North American Rockwell in Columbus, OH. He retired from Rockwell, worked briefly in the Washington, DC area before moving back to Texas as a safety engineer for Texas Employers Insurance in Dallas. He retired again, in 1989. Curt was always active in the church, no matter where he was located. Curt had a wonderful life full of good friends, good times, and good memories. Survivors: His devoted wife of 68 years, Mary F. Benton. Brother, Phillip Benton. Sons, Michael Benton (and wife Alice) and Joel Benton (and wife Linda). Granddaughters Sara Mason, Caryn Peeples, and Amanda Bandt. Grandson Cash Benton. Four Great Grandchildren, Ava, Aidan, Michael and Jacob. He was predeceased by his brother Jack Benton. Service: A memorial service will be held Saturday, January 12th at 3PM. Northway Christian Church, 7202 W. Northwest Hwy, Dallas, Texas 75225. Memorials: In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made in his memory to the Wounded Warrior Project.

Published in Dallas Morning News on Jan. 6, 2013