John Benham

John Andrew Benham, 89, of Simsbury, beloved husband of Joan (Weatherley) Benham, died Thursday, July 16, 2015 at St. Francis Hospital in Hartford. He was born July 18, 1925 in Boston, MA, son of the late John Andrew and Lois Eleanor (Evans) Benham and had lived in North Canton and West Hartford prior to moving to Simsbury. He was a graduate of Dartmouth College, Class of 1949, and graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Economics. John was a veteran of World War II, having served in the U.S. Navy in 1943-44. He was assigned to the USS Henry A. Wiley destroyer, where he served as a sonar man (“ping Jockey”) in anti-submarine warfare. He served in the Pacific Theater in the Iwo Jima and Okinawa campaigns, mine-sweeping operations in the China Sea and the Sushima Straits. The Wiley was awarded the presidential unit citation for meritorious action in Okinawa. Mr. Benham was a Sales Representative for the Polymer branch office in West Hartford and other manufacturers in the Northeast prior to his retirement in 1998. Jack was devoted to his family, but he also cared very much about young people and giving them the experience of wilderness. He wanted to teach them the importance of family, devotion to country and to God. He was scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 44 in West Hartford starting in 1968. He held many posts in the Boy Scouts, including Nutmeg District Commissioner; chairman of the troop committee; and was on the executive board of the Long Rivers Council. He received one of the highest awards in Scouting, the Silver Beaver award for distinguished service to youth. Jack enjoyed hiking, camping, canoeing, fly fishing, sailing in his Sunfish and loved to watch the UCONN women’s basketball team. He coached lacrosse for Farmington Valley Lacrosse and was a member of the Farmington Valley Ski Touring Club. Besides sports, he loved classical music, theater, opera and, as a tenor, had many leading roles in Simsbury Light Opera Company. He also sang in the SLOCO Choraliers, the Hartford Chorale, Waterbury Chorale and several church choirs. He was a member of the Universalist Church of West Hartford and sang in the choir for 25 years. He was an avid reader, especially about World War ll. Besides his loving wife of 33 years, he is survived by his children: Barbara B. Healey, West Hartford; Carolyn B. Wallick (Robert), Windsor; John E. Benham, Torrington; Eleanor B. Corcoran (Kenneth), Centreville, VA; Kathryn B. Tasillo (Gary), Windsor; step-son Stephen W. Parcell (Kelly), Boulder, CO; step-daughter, Laurelyn P. Sayah, Nederland, CO; grandchildren: Joseph E. Bisaillon; Erin J. Kadelski; Kevin A. Bisaillon; Elizabeth J. Healey; Emily J. Healey; Ryan A. Benham; Kathleen C. Serone; Kimberly C. Kenny; Brendan K. Corcoran; Christina R. Tasillo; Amanda L. Wallick; Peter J. Tasillo; Paul M. Tasillo; step-grandchildren Brianna R. Parcell and Wesley D. Parcell; great grandchildren: James Lynch; Anna R. Kadelski; Andrew Kadelski; Brooke S. Bisaillon; Eleanor A. Peck; Elijah J. Fox; Isabella J. Bisaillon; Gavin J. Serone; Audrey C. Kenny; Jack D. Peck and sister-in-law: Valette Benham. He was predeceased by his first wife, Virginia (Pack) Benham and his brother, Richard E. Benham. There are no calling hours. A memorial service will be celebrated Saturday July 18th at 2:00 pm in the Carling Chapel at McLean, 75 Great Pond Road in Simsbury. Private burial will be will be in Fairview Cemetery in West Hartford at a later date. Memorial donations may be made to The Universalist Church of West Hartford, 433 Fern St., West Hartford, CT 06107 or Boy Scouts of America, 60 Darin St., East Hartford, CT 06108. Please visit John’s “Book of Memories” at for online condolences.

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