Bobby Gene Benson, 78, passed away Nov. 27, 2019 at the V.A. Hospital in Memphis. Funeral services were 11 a.m. Saturday at Shackelford Funeral Directors on Crook Avenue with Koreen Edwards officiating. Burial followed with military honors at Cabo Cemetery. The family received friends at Crook Avenue from 5-7 p.m. Masonic Rites were at 7 p.m. Friday in the chapel.
He was born May 29, 1941 in Chester County, the second son to his beloved mother, Dora Ellon Benson. He went to school at Glendale and graduated Chester County High School.
He entered the U.S. Navy in 1958, was stationed in San Diego, Calif., and served aboard the USS Passumsic (AO-107), a replenishment oiler. He served in Japan and the Philippines from 1958 until 1962. He was also a member of the Enlisted Men’s Club on the base in San Diego.
After his military service, he married Jean Scott, and they made their home in Memphis and Bartlett. Two children, Phillip and Tina, rounded out the family.
He was a family man and volunteered in youth groups, as a baseball coach and as a scout master. He wanted to be involved with his children and his community. He went to work for the Illinois Central Railroad as an agent operator. He learned every job so that he would be able to help everywhere.
His son Phillip died in 2000, and his wife Jean died in 2006. Through his heartache, he continued to embrace life. He loved people. He looked for opportunities to help others and always encouraged a positive perspective.
In recent years, he became involved with the Rockabilly Rockers and was inducted into the International Rock-A-Billy Hall of Fame. He shared his passion for dance with the Rockabilly Rockers and with his companion, Shirley Burkeens. He loved to travel and spent most of his time outdoors, relishing the beauty in everything. From Florida beaches to the wilderness, camping, and traveling in his motor home, he experienced life.
He is survived by his daughter, Tina Marie (Sean Murphree) Benson of Bartlett; two grandchildren, Phillip and Cydni; his brother, William “Bill” (Marie) Benson of Bartlett; his sister, Ann (Charlie) Pettit of Florence, Miss.; nieces, Suzie, Karen and Talatha; great-nephew, Ronnie; his long time friend and companion, Shirley Burkeens; and a bushel of people who love him.