June 6, 1939 - August 15, 2017


A Graveside Service will be at 1:00 p.m. Monday, August 21, 2017 at Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery in Little Falls for Bennie J. Benesh of Sartell who passed away peacefully on August 15, 2017 at the St. Cloud Hospital.

He was born on June 6, 1939 in Shevlin to Fred and Annie Benesh. He was the 12th of 13 children that grew up on the Family Farm near Alida. He graduated from Bagley High School in 1957. He married Joan Messelt of Winger in 1959 and together they had two sons; Jeff and Barry. While working as a Merchant Marine, Bennie was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1964. He served in the Army from Jan 1965 to May 1974 with tours in Wurzburg Germany, Landing Zone Baldy in Vietnam, Fort Lee, VA, ROTC Instructor at the University of Wisconsin, Whitewater, and the Wisconsin Army National Guard in Wisconsin Rapids, WI. Bennie served his country with distinction during his tour in Vietnam from 1968 to 1969 for which he was awarded a Bronze Star with Valor, Purple Heart, National Defense Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, and the Vietnam Campaign Medal with 5 clusters. He was personally thanked for his service in Vietnam by President Nixon.

During his Service in the US Army he was recognized as a marksman and received the Bronze Star for Achievement, Army Commendation Medal, Good Conduct Medal with Cluster, five Presidential and Unit Citations culminating in the rank of Sergeant First Class. Upon his return to Minnesota, he spent his working years as a Merchant Marine later becoming a small engine mechanic in Central Minnesota. Bennie will always be remembered for his generosity and fun-loving spirit; he liked to sing songs, tell jokes, and had a unique way of looking you in the eye and just saying the right words to make you feel special. He will be missed by his sons, Jeffrey Benesh and Barry Benesh of Colorado and five grandchildren.

He is survived by his siblings Lil Sauer, Frankie Benesh, Henrietta Erickson, Betty Johnson, and Shirley Wilson; David Benesh, Nieces and Nephews; his Companion Margie Fischer of Sartell; and his many dear friends.