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95, of New Philadelphia, died Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014 in Union Hospital at Dover following a period of declining health. A son of the late Michael and Helen (Kesic) Benjamin, immigrants of Yugoslavia, John was born Oct. 31, 1918 at Midvale, Ohio. John graduated from Midvale High School in 1937. He served in the United States Navy during World War II. On April 7, 1942, his ship, the USS Aaron Ward was attacked by Japanese aircraft and sunk off Tagoma Point, Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands. John then was serving aboard the USS Haggard which was attacked and was seriously damaged by Kamikaze aircraft off Okinawa, Ryukyu Island. Prior to his service in the Navy and following his honorable discharge, John worked for General Telephone Company. He started as a lineman and retired in 1980 as a supervisor after 42 years of service. He was Catholic by faith and was a member of the New Philadelphia V.F.W. Post #1445 and a life member of the AMVETS.
He is survived by his stepchildren, Ed (Sandy) Breehl, Larry (Nadine) Breehl, Babs Breehl and Pixie (Dale) Denham, all of New Philadelphia; 11 grandchildren; 15 great- grandchildren; one great- great-grandchild; nephews, Bob Benjamin of Pompano Beach, Fla., and William (Debbie) Benjamin of Dover; a niece, Yvonne (Perry) Schilling of Washington; five great-nephews and a stepdaughter-in-law, Jeannie (Pompey) Breehl Haney of New Philadelphia. John was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Clementine "Toots" Benjamin whom he married on Nov. 24, 1979; his brothers, Leo and Nick Benjamin; two sisters, Dorothy Pittman and Catherine Saltz; a stepson, Bill Breehl and a stepgreat-granddaughter.
The family will receive friends on Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014 from 10 to 11 a.m. in the Linn-Hert-Geib Funeral Home & Crematory at New Philadelphia. A funeral service will follow at 11 a.m. in the funeral home with Father Jeff Coning officiating. Burial will follow in Calvary Cemetery at New Philadelphia where the New Philadelphia V.F.W. Post #1445 will render military honors. Those wishing to do so may send the family a personal condolence and light a candle in remembrance of John by visiting the funeral home website, www.geibcares.com. Contributions may be made in John's memory to the Leo Benjamin Memorial Scholarship Fund c/o Quaker Club, Attn: Ed Leggett, 343 Ray Avenue NW, New Philadelphia, OH 44663.
Published in The Times Reporter on Jan. 24, 2014