John R. "J.R." Benson, Sr., 88, formerly of Wesleyville and Erie, died Sat., Aug. 17, 2013 at St. Mary's at Asbury Ridge. He was born May 8, 1925 in Punxsutawney, Pa., son of the late John Sheridan and Mildred C. Craft Benson.
J.R. was a longtime resident of the Erie area, and attended Wesleyville High School. He was a U.S. Navy veteran
, serving during WW II, and worked for General Electric Corp., retiring as an Inspector for the Locomotive Division in 1991, after 45 years. Following his retirement, he acquired his G.E.D., after having his high school education interrupted by WW II. He was a member of Lutheran Memorial Church, and had been a very active member of the former Bethany Lutheran Church, where he served as a lay assistant minister, sang in the choir, taught Sunday School, and served on Church Council. He was a former member of the Board of Directors of the Lutheran Home, and had chaired the Lutheran Home Dance.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 54 years, Jean Erickson Benson in 2003; a daughter, Jennifer Ann Benson in 1961; and a sister, Marjorie Ferguson.
Survivors include five sons, John R. Benson, Jr. and wife Debbie of Williston, SC and formerly of Union City, Pa., James Benson, Jeffrey Benson and wife Renee, and Jeremy Benson and wife Vanessa, all of Erie, and the Rev. Joel Benson and wife Mindy of Gibsonia, Pa.; six grandchildren, Julie Garrett and husband Danny and Kristen Benson, all of S.C., Sarah, Victoria, and Connor Benson of Erie, and Mara and Adam Benson and wife Ashley, all of Gibsonia, Pa.; three great-grandchildren, Austin and Cameron Benson and Blake Garrett, all of S.C.; and several nieces and nephews.
Friends may call Tuesday 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. at the Scott Funeral Home, 2104 Myrtle St. A service will be held at Luther Memorial Church, 225 W. 10th St., Wednesday at 10 a.m. with the Rev. William Coleman and the Rev. Joel Benson, son of J.R., co-officiating. Burial will be at Wintergreen Gorge Cemetery with full military honors. Memorials may be made to Bethany Outreach Center, 254 E. 10th St., Erie, PA 16503.