Willard R. Benson
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Willard Raymond Benson died on May 14, 2013 in Clemson, South Carolina. He was born on August 16, 1926 in Dover, New Jersey to Oscar W. and Harriet King Benson. He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Helene Antonia (Toni) Kraus Benson, sons Richard (Leslie) and Eric (Lisa), grandchildren Ted (Grace), Alex, Stephanie, James, Kenneth and Corey Benson, and Emily (Will) Martin, and 1 great-grandchild Lucy Martin. He was predeceased by his son, W. Todd (Tami) Benson, and his brother, Robert King Benson.
Willard lived most of his life in Dover, NJ, until retiring to Hilton Head, SC. He resided in Clemson, SC since 2007. He graduated from Dover High School in 1944, and received his Mechanical Engineering degree from Stevens Institute of Technology in 1949. He later earned a Master of Science in applied mechanics at the University of Virginia and a Master of Science in statistics at Stanford University. He enlisted in the Army in 1944, was selected for the Army Specialized Training Program, and received his Honorable Discharge in 1946.
In 1949, Willard and Toni married in Dover, NJ. Willard had a highly decorated career as a civilian engineer working for the Army, mostly at Picatinny Arsenal in Dover. As a research lab director, from 1960 to 1968 he was a pioneer in mathematical modeling and computer simulation. During his career, Willard received over 60 letters of commendation, with the most notable being a Secretary of the Army Research and Study Fellowship (1959), the Army Meritorious Civilian Service Award (1965), and the Army Exceptional Civilian Service Award (1976), the highest honor that the Army bestows on a civilian.
As a resident of Dover, NJ, Willard did much to enhance his community as a long-time member and leader of the Dover Rotary Club, West Morris Boy Scout District, and Dover School Board. Willard Benson's family and friends mourn the passing of this brilliant, accomplished, kind and generous man. They wish to thank the many kind nurses and staff at the Sterling House, Clemson Downs Health Care Center, and Interim HealthCare Hospice for their excellent and compassionate care. A celebration of his life will be held on Saturday, May 25, 2013, 3:00 p.m., at Duckett-Robinson Funeral Home in Central, South Carolina. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Interim HealthCare Hospice, 775 Spartan Blvd. Suite 101, Spartanburg, SC 29301-9957, or at www.interimhealthcarehospice.org. Please visit www.robinsonfuneralhomes.com/ for a complete obituary, and to sign the online guest register.
Published in The Greenville News on May 23, 2013