Jonathon Lee Benson (1950 - 2019)

  • "My deepest sympathy to Teddy and the family I worked for..."
  • "May he Rest in Peace."
    - Dan Shea
  • "My sympathy to all who mourn Jon's loss. I had the..."
    - Beth Hardin
Service Information
Kenneth W. Poe Funeral & Cremation Service
1321 Berkeley Ave.
Charlotte, NC
28204
(704)-641-7606
Visitation
Friday, Nov. 1, 2019
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Myers Park Baptist Church
1900 Queens Rd
Charlotte, NC
View Map
Funeral service
Friday, Nov. 1, 2019
2:00 PM
Myers Park Baptist Church
1900 Queens Rd
Charlotte, NC
View Map
Obituary

Jonathon Lee Benson, 69, passed away on Saturday, October 26, 2019 surrounded by family. Jon was born on August 17, 1950 and raised in Dayton, Ohio as the youngest of three boys to Charles Prue and Virginia Elizabeth Benson. He sang as the Featured Boys' Soprano in the Dayton Rotary Boys Choir for three years, including in concerts around the world.

After graduating from Belmont High School in 1968, Jon attended Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where he received his Bachelor of Arts in History in 1972. While studying at Miami, Jon met Teddi Lee Tegtmeyer on a blind date set up by his best friend and the two married in 1973.

Jon received his Ph.D in Political Science from Ohio State University in 1976 and moved his family to Charlotte, NC the next year to work for the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. After three years on loan to the National Science Foundation in Washington, D.C., Jon returned to Charlotte where he founded and ran the Ben Craig Center, a business incubator within the University that worked to help people start or grow their own business. He later began an international business incubator in Aachen, Germany, in conjunction with the one in Charlotte to provide opportunities for both German and American businesses to expand their market into the other country.

Jon retired from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 1997 to start his own private business. A few years later, Jon delved back into the world of economic and business development when the University of Wyoming recruited him to start a technology-focused business incubator there. Jon worked with the University of Wyoming for thirteen years to develop and run three different business incubators across the state before he retired again and returned home to North Carolina.

Family was always the most important thing in Jon's life, especially when it came to his role as a father. Jon proposed to Teddi on Mother's Day, uniting them in a common dream early in their relationship to be parents. Jon's children often heard about how much their father loved and talked about them each time he met a new person in his life.

He made a point to have a close and special relationship with each of his three children - Jennifer Elizabeth Benson Keinath, Amanda Katherine Benson, and Jonathon Charles Benson- as well as his niece and nephews. Jon was known to rarely miss a meeting or event when his children were in school and was always found cheering along the sidelines of their sports games and racecourses.

Jon and his family attended Myers Park Baptist Church in Charlotte for many years where he was an active member. He served as a deacon and developed a Faith Development Class, which he taught for many years and continues in some form today. Jon recognized faith as an important and life-long journey and found great joy in helping others discover and develop their own faith.

Jon was preceded in death by his parents, siblings, and their wives. He is survived by his wife, Teddi; children, Jennifer Elizabeth Benson Keinath and husband, Brad, Amanda Katherine Benson, Jonathon Charles Benson and wife, Elizabeth Rodgers Benson; two granddaughters; and several extended family members.

Funeral services will be held at 2:00 PM on Friday, November 1, 2019 at Myers Park Baptist Church, 1900 Queens Rd in Charlotte. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service. Interment will follow at Elmwood Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Jon's name to University of Wyoming Foundation, www.uwyo.edu/foundation or Social Venture Partners, 1422 S. Tryon St., 3rd Floor, Charlotte, NC 28203, www.socialventurepartners.org/charlotte/donate/.

Arrangements are in the care of Kenneth W. Poe Funeral & Cremation Service, 1321 Berkeley Ave., Charlotte, NC 28204; (704) 641-7606. Online condolences can be shared at www.kennethpoeservices.com.

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Published in Charlotte Observer on Oct. 30, 2019
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