John “Roger” Benson died very peacefully at home on November 20th 2015 at the age of 97
Roger is survived by his 5 children, Jody (William) Buergey, Dan (Barb), Andrew, Ted, and Paula (Scott) Nelson; his 6 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren.
Roger/Dad/Gramps/Pops was born December 23rd 1917, at home at 5055 West Ferdinand, Chicago, Illinois to his loving parents Gustav and Frideborg. Roger was blesses with a lovely sister Bertha, who was his friend and protector. His parents built a lovely home in Oak Park, IL, and the family vacationed in Laker Geneva, WI, along with childhood visits to his parents native homeland of Sweden.
Roger was a WWII Army Veteran who proudly served his country in the European theater, Normandy, Northern France, and Rhineland. Roger was awarded the Purple Heart, being shot in combat around Schmidt Germany. Roger always felt that the real heroes were the ones that never returned from the war.
Roger lived a full and rewarding life. Always thankful, he was loved not only by his family and relatives, but also by the many friends and strangers that Roger touched so deeply through his positive outlook on life, his classic humor and infectious smile, along with his love of good conversation. Roger was up on current affairs and was very concerned for the wellbeing of the world we live in.
Roger was a loving and devoted husband to his wife Rita who he met on a blind date after the war. Rita was beautiful human being and together they formed a bond to give their children a warm and loving home to grow up in.
After marrying Rita, They purchase a home in Deerfield IL. Roger was a dedicated, dutiful Routeman who worked for 30 plus years on the north shore of Chicago for Zengeler Dry Cleaners, and his devotion to his customers in Kenilworth and Winnetka, was Unparalleled.
Roger was an accomplished pianist. His playing brought people together, and he was in a special place…. In 1985, when his loving wife Rita was in her final hours and beyond verbal communication, she looked into Roger’s eyes and he immediately knew what she wanted. He went to the piano, sat down, and began to play “As Time Goes By”. The tears rolled down Rita’s and her children’s faces. It was one of the most poignant memories in our family’s lives.
Upon his retirement, Roger relocated to Nalcrest Fl, where he had a great time with friends, being an active and beloved part of the community. He has many dear friends there that will miss him dearly. Roger for the most time split his time between Flordia and northern Wisconsin where was also an active community member with great friends.
In Roger’s later years, he continued to maintain his sense of humor and positive outlook on life, relishing time with family and friends, proud of his grandchildren Alex, Sarah, Brian, Leah, Talya, and Rita and great grandchildren Natalie, Carson, and Matthew. Roger moved in with his son Ted in 2011, in Highland Park, and was back near his hometown of Deerfield, once again enjoying his piano playing continuing to “tickle the ivories” on a regular basis, and he had recently talked about taking piano and voice lessons.
Roger credited his long life to music, conversation and connection. He made friends wherever he went. A decorated veteran who stated “war is hell”, he spent his life advocating for “peace”. One of his favorite sayings was: “be kind to one another” Roger Benson will be dearly missed.
A visitation will be held on Monday, November 23, 2015 from 3-8 pm at Kelley & Spalding Funeral Home, 1787 Deerfield Rd. Highland Park IL. The visitation will continue Tuesday, November 24, 2015 10:00 am until time of memorial service at noon. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Little Brothers – Friends of the Elderly, Chicago Chapter 355 N Ashland Ave, Chicago, IL 60607.