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James D. Bench

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SALEM, S.C. – James D. Bench, 80, of Salem, S.C., went to be with the Lord on Saturday, March 9, 2013, quietly while surrounded by many family members.
He was born Oct. 5, 1932, in Highland Park, to J. Daniel and Margaret Laird Bench. Both parents and three siblings preceded him in death. Jim married Ginny Jung in February 1963 and they were happily married 50 years.
He is survived by his best friend, Ginny Bench, wife, and their three children, Ginny Bench Fortney and husband Don of Salem, S.C., Cynthia Sauer and husband Bart of Walhalla, S.C., and Michael Bench and wife Christine of Evergreen Park. He was a beloved grandpa and buddy to nine grandchildren, Michael Fortney and wife Laicie, Stuart Fortney, Caitlin, Kelsey and Emma Sauer, and Ryann, Luke, Liam and Aidan Bench.
Mr. Bench's dedication to community projects and service was exemplary and countless others have benefited from his generosity. As a longtime resident in Crystal Lake, 1974-2005, Jim was active in Crystal Lake Central Booster Club and CL Rotary Club, spearheading the 1990s building project at Veterans' Acres. Jim was also proud of his military service, during the Korean Conflict, with the USMC 1952-1956, where he was a drill instructor and reached the rank of Second Lieutenant. He will always be remembered best for his welcoming personality, his uncanny ability to make every situation a celebration, and his wonderful sense of humor. His was definitely a life well lived.
A celebration of life service will be at 1 p.m. Thursday, March 14, with a light reception to follow, at St. Mark's United Methodist Church, 616 Quincy Road, Seneca, SC 29678, 864-882-2603. The family plans a private interment.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Salvation Army, Wounded Warriors, and Hospice of the Foothills.
Published in the Northwest Herald on Mar. 14, 2013
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