Philip W. Benson
1937 - 2020
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Benson, Philip W. Rockford Mr. Benson passed away Wednesday, September 23, 2020, surrounded by his loving family. On February 7, 1937, Phil was born in Ludington, Michigan, where he enjoyed a happy and adventurous childhood under the watchful and adoring eyes of his mother, Rose, grandmother, Sarah, and Aunt Lil. Phil's love of Ludington was passed on to his children through memories created over many summer weekends spent at the state park. In 1957 Phil married his childhood sweetheart and love of his life "Libby" (Alice Elizabeth) Matthews. Phil and Libby relocated to the Grand Rapids area in 1960, eventually building a home in "The Village" in Rockford. Phil and Libby hold fond memories of the friends they made while raising their children in "The Village". Phil and Libby were one of the founding families of Our Lady of Consolation. Despite not being Catholic himself, Phil served as a member of the OLC Parish Finance Council and dedicated his time and resources to support the parish in establishing the original education endowment. In 1978 Phil's family proudly witnessed his conversion to Catholicism and joining them in full membership of the Catholic faith. Together, Phil and Libby embraced 63 years of marriage, raising three children and fostering countless more through Catholic Charities of Grand Rapids. Phil attended Central Michigan University, graduating in 1958 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. He also earned the designation of Distinguished Military Graduate of the Army ROTC. Upon graduation, Phil was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Medical Service Corps and served until his honorable discharge as a Captain of the U.S. Army Reserve in 1966. Phil began his professional career at Lear Siegler Incorporated in 1959, quickly working his way up the accounting department's ranks. In 1973, Phil left Lear, accepting the position of CFO at RoseJohnson Incorporated in Grand Rapids. Following a successful career in finance, Phil opted for early retirement from professional life in 1992. Soon realizing the retired lifestyle was a bit bland for his tastes, Phil ventured into the world of small business ownership, acquiring two UPS Stores in the Grand Rapids area. He thrived in this hands-on business setting and found immense joy and value in fostering relationships with his staff and regular customers. Phil proudly served as owner and operator until 2017, when he retired his signature black UPS polo shirt and lovingly passed "the stores" to new ownership at the age of 80. Finally ready to embrace retired life, Phil spent the past few years with Libby at their home in Rockford, quietly tending to the yard or simply "looking at the lake" and enjoying the peaceful calm. Phil was a man who refused to take himself too seriously, preferring to add a humorous spin to life's ups and downs. Phil was quick to flash his generous grin or offer a hearty chuckle (even when the joke wasn't all that funny). Phil was a gentle, peaceful man. He will be greatly missed and lovingly remembered by all fortunate enough to know him. Phil is survived by: his wife, Libby; children, Laura Milliken of White Lake, David and Laurie Benson, and Martin Benson, all of Grand Rapids; grandchildren, Erin (Brandon) Pollack of Colorado Springs, Allison (Matt) Nikitin of Howell, Matthew (Samantha Thompson) and Samuel Milliken all of White Lake; MaryRose and Cyril Benson of Grand Rapids; Taylor and Noah Wustman of Grand Rapids; great-grandchildren, Reagan Milliken; Evelyn "Evey" Nikitin (and Baby Nikitin in March!). Phil was preceded in death by his mother, Rose Benson, his father, Stanley Benson, and his aunt, Lily Hansen. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Thursday, October 1, 2020, at 11:00 am at Our Lady of Consolation Catholic Church with Rev. Tony Russo presiding and Rev. Louis Anderson concelebrating. The family will greet relatives and friends one hour before the Mass on Thursday at the church. In lieu of flowers, please consider a charitable contribution in Phil's name to the Alzheimer's Association of Grand Rapids.



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Published in Grand Rapids Press from Sep. 26 to Sep. 27, 2020.
MEMORIAL EVENTS
OCT
1
Visitation
10:00 - 11:00 AM
Our Lady of Consolation Catholic Church
OCT
1
Mass of Christian Burial
11:00 AM
Our Lady of Consolation Catholic Church
Funeral services provided by
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September 30, 2020
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Voneise Kupper
September 30, 2020
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow. Phil was a great mentor for me within the UPS Store network and I valued him as a great friend.

Rusty Williams
Rusty Williams
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