Charles William Benz of Palos Park passed away November 22nd at the age of 97.
He is survived by the first and only love of his life, his wife Muriel Benz and their daughters Lynn and Jill Benz.
Charles was born in 1924, Cisco, Illinois to Artie and Delia Cates-Benz, their only child. He was raised in Marshall, Parke County, Indiana.
Upon entering 3rd grade there, Charles met the lifelong friends of his youth. Among them was an especially sweet, pretty 4th grader, Muriel Thomas. Excelling in his studies, Charles was advanced to Muriel's class and so began to study her as well. Classmates, teachers, and likely the entire small town seemed to know the outcome. Charles and Muriel were wed on the morning of September 10, 1944, Boarded the night train to Chicago and began their life together. Still partners and in Love, they have been married for 77 years.
Charles earned his degree at Purdue University, and in Chicago, continued to study engineering at Illinois Institute of Technology. Both he and Muriel were also employed there before moving to Lemont to raise their daughters. In Lemont, Charles taught engineering at Fournier Institute of Technology, part of the Arthur J. Schmitt Foundation which included Amphenol Electronics Corporation. Mr. Schmitt promoted Charles to Amphenol where he spent the majority of his career in engineering development and business sales and management. Later Charles became vice president/president of three companies: Builders Iron, Coleman Cable, and Trico Metal, all eventually merging as Technico Engineering. He served as vice president of Technico until retirement, remaining on its Board of Directors until 2021. Charles or "Charlie" was the answer man. He possessed an uncommonly sharp mind, a great wit, and was an entertaining storyteller. An avid reader since childhood, he somehow retained almost all he read or experienced in great detail. He was always on time, never owned a calculator, and seldom used an eraser.
He loved the natural world, travel, cigars, Muriel's fine cuisine and martinis, his career and cats. But his love for time spent with his family always came first. His passing was as he wished: at his home with Muriel, Lynn and Jill beside him. Our family wished to express gratitude to our dear friends, family, neighbors, and recent caregivers and especially to Dr. Richard Geiger for his expert professional care and ever present kindness to our family.
Family and friends will gather on Tuesday, November 30th, 2021 from 3:00 PM until the time of service at 6:30 PM at Schmaedeke Funeral Home, 10701 S. Harlem Ave, Worth, IL. Interment private. COVID protocols will be followed therefore masks and social distancing will be required. For information 708-448-6000 or www.schmaedekefuneralhome.com
Published by Chicago Tribune on Nov. 28, 2021.