George “Jake” Benjamin, III was the only child born to Viola McGriff and the late George Benjamin, II on October27, 1939 in Millen, Georgia. On Tuesday morning, January 1, 2013, Jake departed this life at Keck Medical Center at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, CA.
Jake spent his early years in Baltimore, MD. After high school, he attended Morgan State University as a math/chemistry major. He enlisted in the United States Armed Forces and served three tours of duty in Vietnam as a dedicated, qualified and highly accomplished pilot. His piloting expertise included AH1G [Cobra], UH1G [Huey], UH60 [Black Hawk], fixed wing U8 and U21 aircraft.
During his three decades of military service, Jake served in numerous and various capacities- pilot, flight instructor, executive officer and group commander at many military bases across the United States. Jake retired from the United States Aviation Branch with the rank of Colonel in 1999.
His numerous military awards and service medals include: Meritorious Service Medal w/Third Leaf Cluster, Bronze Star Medal w/Second Leaf Cluster, Air Medal w/Numeral 5 device, Army Accommodation Medal w/Third Leaf Cluster, National Defense Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal with Ten Year Device and Senior Army Aviator Badge.
Jake married Mamie Adams in December 1970. From that union, one son was born, George “Benji” Benjamin. IV. California became home for the Benjamins in 1974 as Jake entered into his civilian career with the General Electric Company.
During his civilian career as Western District Manager for General Electric Aircraft Engines Business Group, he coordinated the engine/airframe programs with various aircraft manufacturers. His impressive career with GE spanned over 38 years.
Jake was a loving husband, father, grandfather, son and lifetime soldier. Jake lived and loved life to the fullest and in grand style. He was a loyal and trusted friend, world traveler, great storyteller and a more than avid golfer.
George “Jake” Benjamin, III leaves to cherish his loving memory: his wife of 42 years, Mamie Adams Benjamin, two sons: Tyrone Benjamin of Laguna Hills, California and George “Benji” Benjamin (Trisha) of Cave Creek, Arizona, mother, Viola McGriff of Laguna Hills, California, 2 grandsons, Kyle and Isaiah Benjamin of Cave Creek, Arizona, one niece, Pamela Gant of Washington, DC and one nephew, Edward Sowell of Costa Mesa, California. Jake will be greatly missed by many other family and friends who cherished and loved him dearly.