Gary Neil Benson, 71, gently passed away at his home in Sheridan, WY on Saturday, December 3, 2011 surrounded by his loving family.
Born in Laramie, WY on July 25, 1940, he was the youngest of four children born to Irma L. (Marsh) and Charles Wesley Benson.
Gary played football for the Plainsmen and graduated from Laramie High School (’58) and went on to continue his education at the University of Wyoming (’62) where he graduated with a B.A. in Spanish and Secondary Education.
After 3 years of teaching in Lingle, WY he moved to Sheridan in 1966 to accept a teaching and coaching position at Sheridan High School. Gary proved to be a lifelong Bronc and remained at SHS until briefly retiring in 1995 only to later return to SHS as Assistant Athletic Director.
Interspersed among his teaching and coaching was his career with the Wyoming National Guard. He was awarded the "Outstanding Achievement Medal" for organizing and leading Wyoming’s first biathlon team to national championships. He retired after 20 years of service with the rank of Sgt. First Class.
He was a cowboy at heart, outdoor enthusiast, history buff, and active member of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church.
He was known as a man of integrity and character. Gary was an exemplary friend and family-man and will be missed by all.
Gary is survived by his wife, Suzie Schatz-Benson, their son Adam and his wife Jillian of Sheridan; daughter Elizabeth and her husband, David Johnson of Duluth, MN and their children, Sarah and Cody; and daughter Mary and her husband, Trent McDonald of Laramie, WY and their children, Zoe, Aidan and Mia; siblings Warren (JoAnn), Bonnie (Jim) Ross, and Joe (Lynn) of Laramie, WY, and their extended families.
He was preceded in death by his son Garth Benson and his parents, Irma and Charles Benson.
Visitation will be held from 7 – 9 p.m. on Thursday, December 8th at Kane Funeral Home. A service celebrating Gary’s life will be at 10:00 a.m. Friday, December 9th at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, with Father John Meyer officiating. A luncheon will follow in St. Peter’s Parish Hall. Interment of ashes in the Sheridan Municipal Cemetery will be held this coming summer.
The family requests memorial donations be made to Kata Loukan Medical Missions in care of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 1 South Tschirgi St., Sheridan, WY, 82801 or the SHS Booster Club, P.O. Box 368, Sheridan, WY, 82801.
Condolences may be written online at www.kanefuneral.com
Kane Funeral Home is assisting with arrangements.