Roy Lee Benson

1932 - 2020

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Roy L. Benson, age 87, of Van Buren, died at 7:40pm on Wednesday, January 15, 2020 at his residence, surrounded by those who loved him. Roy was born on September 22, 1932 in the small town of Brownfield in the Dust Bowl region of West Texas to Richard Oscar and Alice Bessie (Little) Benson. Roy, the youngest of four surviving children, lost both of his parents at a tender age and was raised by his extended family, who brought him to Akron, Ohio as a toddler. As a young boy, Roy carried mail, stocked shelves, attended church and developed a deep attachment to our national pastime of baseball. Through his radio and his imagination, the young Roy (or “Bub” as he was known) was transported to ballparks in cities throughout the country. The giants of the game and their batting statistics became his first subjects of serious study, with many others to follow. Roy joined the Navy in 1952. He served four years, with much of that time on board the aircraft carrier USS Bennington, including during the Korean War. Upon discharge, Roy returned to his home church in Akron for a service and eyed a pretty new face in the church choir. Evangeline (Vangie) Booher was new to Akron from her studies at Marion College in Indiana. Roy and Vangie were engaged just four weeks after meeting and were married a few months later on June 15, 1957. While their courtship was brief, their marriage lasted nearly 63 years. Roy earned a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Anderson College in Indiana in 1961. Upon college graduation, Roy and Vangie moved their young family to Findlay, Ohio, where Roy had been recruited by Marathon Oil to work as an accountant. Roy’s natural love of education led him to begin legal studies as a night student, earning a juris doctor degree from the University of Toledo College of Law in 1966. Together, Roy and Vangie cultivated in their family a passion for education, history, politics, and faith. Roy enjoyed his Christian faith from a spiritual and intellectual perspective. He cherished the Bible and found some of the Old Testament stories so compelling; the story of Joseph was a favorite. He could quote scripture but only as the humblest of followers, and he recognized and respected the Christian tradition as the foundation of our country and our culture. Roy loved America and Americana, but also had an international perspective and developed lasting friendships with people from around the world. In his later years, Roy returned to his beloved baseball and coached high school boys in the local Fall Ball League for 13 years, until he was 82. Through the years, many of those young men have shared with Roy that they learned more from him than just the fundamentals of baseball. To know Roy was to know his optimism and enthusiasm for people. He had a tremendous sense of humor, which was matched by a sense of perspective about life and the richness of human relationships. He loved big thinking, great literature and food. As someone who never knew either of his parents, Roy was an extraordinarily devoted parent and grandparent and leaves a legacy of love to his family that will continue to influence its future generations. Roy is survived by his wife of 62 years, Vangie Benson and their three children: Rebecca Miller, Randall (Susan) Benson, and Molly Benson. Roy was also an adoring “Papa” to five grandchildren: Cody (Alyssa) Miller, Alex (Jessica) Benson, Samantha Benson, Sophie Miller, and Sarah Benson; and a great-granddaughter, MacKenzie Benson. Preceding him in death were his siblings: Clyde Benson, Glendon Overholt, and Richard Benson. Roy attended the College First Church of God and was a member of the Findlay American Legion. Visitation will be held from 2:00-4:00pm and 6:00-8:00pm on Tuesday, January 21, 2020 at COLDREN-CRATES FUNERAL HOME in Findlay. Funeral services will be held at 10:00am on Wednesday, January 22, 2020 at College First Church of God, 1100 North Main Street, Findlay, Ohio. Pastor William Reist will officiate, in collaboration with family friend Jerry Murray. Interment will follow at Bechtel Cemetery in Van Buren, where the Hancock County Veterans Memorial Squad will provide full military rites. Memorials may be given to Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758516, Topeka, Kansas 66675-8516. Online condolences are welcomed at

Service Information
  • Visitation Details:

    205 West Sandusky Street
    Findlay, Ohio 45840
    Tuesday, January 21st 2020 2:00 - 4:00 PM & 6:00 - 8:00 PM

  • Funeral Service:

    Wednesday, January 22nd 2020 - 10:00 AM

  • Service Location:

    College First Church of God [Map]
    1100 North Main Street
    Findlay, Ohio 45840

  • Final Resting Place:

    Bechtel Cemetery [Map]
    Township Road 229
    Van Buren, Ohio 45889

  • Contributions:

    Wounded Warrior Project - Benson
    P.O. Box 758517
    Topeka, Kansas 66675

  • Instructions:

Condolences For Roy Lee Benson

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To : The Benson Family
Date :Friday, January 17th 2020
From : Sue Gagle
Benson Family,

You're in our thoughts and prayers. Wishing you strength and peace now and in the days ahead.

With deepest sympathy,

Sue and Steve Gagle

To : Vangie and family
Date :Friday, January 17th 2020
From : Brian Beckwith
I am so sorry to see that Roy has passed. He was always a joy to see. I appreciate the interest he took in our son Scott's baseball fun. He really made it fun for the young men he was working with. He also was good for developing their skill sets. That was about 20 years ago but he is still deeply cared for by those touched by his kindness. Roy was a terrific friend and will be missed. My heart goes out to you all.

To : Mrs Vangie Benson
Date :Saturday, January 18th 2020
From : Alan Gearing
I just wanted to tell you how sorry I am for your loss. I remember you and Roy From years ago when we both went to East Foulke Church of God.I always liked you both because you were so friendly .I wish you and your family the best as you continue on.Just remember Roy is just a thought away.

To : The Benson Family
Date :Sunday, January 19th 2020
From : Paul and a Debbie VanNorman
We had the privilege of knowing Roy when we lived in Findlay and attended church with him for several years. It was always a pleasure to be with him and Vangie. Roy was a remarkable man who lived a remarkable life.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family.

To : Molly Benson
Date :Monday, January 20th 2020
From : Tom Debi Kaczynski

We are very sorry to hear of the passing of your father and would like to convey our condolences to you and your family. Although we did not him, it is evident that he lived a full life and was a loving father. Please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

Tom & Debi Kaczynski

To : Vangie Benson
Date :Monday, January 20th 2020
From : Delbert Marilyn Snyder
We are sorry to hear of Roy's passing. Our prayers will be with you and your family.

To : Becky
Date :Monday, January 20th 2020
From : Deb Copus Oliphant
Becky, so sorry to hear of your Dad's passing. Prayer to you and the family.

To : Vangie and family
Date :Monday, January 20th 2020
From : Jennifer Waltermire Capper
Dear Vangie and family,
I’m so sorry to hear of Roy’s passing. I have fond memories of our families living in Beechwood and getting together for cookouts and us kids riding bikes. Roy was always smiling and full of energy and a true gentleman. Keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers.

To : The Benson Family
Date :Monday, January 20th 2020
From : Andrew and Sherry Hesselbein
Our thoughts and prayers are with you. So sorry for your loss.

To : roy benson
Date :Tuesday, January 21st 2020
From : Bob Rachel Poe
We are so sorry to hear of Roy's passing. I have always looked up to Roy as a mentor, someone I would like to imitate. You both inspire me to be balanced in my spiritual/biblical, political and intellectual maturity as you.
I remember the time we first came to church, you invited us out to eat with the family. Then my visits to your place so Roy could show me the huge tree and how far back in history it began.
Our sympathies to you and family at this time of loss.

Sincerely, Bob and Rachel Poe

To : Benson Family
Date :Tuesday, January 21st 2020
From : Bill Amie Norris
So sorry for your family's loss. I have fond memories of Roy growing up.

Fair winds and following seas shipmate.

To : Roy Benson Family
Date :Tuesday, January 21st 2020
From : Dave and Sam Plott
I picture Roy at a ball game right now talking to the folks around him, none of whom he has ever met.

We were fortunate to meet Roy when Sam played Fall Ball for Roy's team his junior and senior years.

Not only did it help with his skills, the relationship we developed with Roy was the best. Sam continued to visit Roy after graduation, stayed with him and Vangie in Orlando, tried to have lunch with him every year, and Roy and Vangie even came to Sam's graduation party.

Both of us, and mom, thought the world of Roy and Vangie.

I recall when Sam first met him at the their home, Roy talked a lot about boys being singled out too often for bad things - and not the good. Roy was a throw back in the best of ways

He was just that kind of guy.

For Roy, I hope the team is playing two, it's 74 degrees, the wind is calm and there's not a cloud in sight.

We'll miss him. The world is a better place with people like Roy in it.

To : Vangie Benson
Date :Wednesday, January 22nd 2020
From : Bill Miller
I was so sorry to learn of Roy's passing. My sincere condolences to you and your family at this time of your loss.

To : Vangie Family
Date :Wednesday, January 22nd 2020
From : Maryann Booher Anderson
My thoughts and prayers are with all of you during this difficult time.