Everett “Jack” Benson
The eighth of ten children, Jack was born October 22, 1918 in Lenox, Iowa to Bessie Irene Balzer and George Zachias Benson. His father died when he was seven and his mother raised the children with the support of extended family. When he was in the tenth grade, two of his older brothers moved him and his two younger siblings to Hollywood, California, where he finished high school and graduated from Fairfax High School in 1936.
While a Youth Director at Wilshire Christian Church, Jack met his wife, Carmen, April, 1, 1938, on a blind date. They were engaged in September and married at Wilshire Christian Church the following year in March, a week after Carmen’s 18th birthday. Their only child, Bonnie, was born in 1944. A devoted Christian, Jack served in several churches through the years including Christian Chapel in South Gate and Florence Avenue Foresquare Church in Santa Fe Springs. Carmen and Jack were married 61 years until her death in 2000.
A World War II veteran, stationed in France and Germany, Jack proudly served in the Army as Supply Staff Sergeant with the 70th Infantry Division. After the war, he and Carmen settled in South Gate, California. He worked for his uncle, A. T., at Balzer’s Market on Larchmont in Hollywood as Produce Manager. In the late ’50’s, he purchased Thriftway Market in South Gate and, later, Benson’s Market in Downey. He retired from the grocery business in 1978 and went to work briefly for Mac Materials in Downey.
When their daughter, Bonnie, married in 1964, that opened a whole new world. Her husband Vince went to work for Jack in Benson’s Market a year before they got married and continued to work for him after he returned from serving in the Army until 1973. The love of God and family were always utmost in Jack’s life. He studied God’s word in numerous Bible studies, was a member of CBMC (Christian Businessmen’s Club) and read the Bible in its entirety several times. When he became a grandfather and great grandfather, he was in his glory! His first grandchild, Carrie, gave him the name of “Ma,” which has stayed with him until his passing. He was involved with Carrie’s, Steve’s and Matthew’s interests, sports and activities throughout their school lives and he always loved being with the great grandchildren! When Carmen died in 2000, Jack moved to Casta del Sol in Mission Viejo to be close to “his little family in Mission Viejo.”
In 2007 he moved to Atria del Sol and then in January, 2013, to Cornerstone Home in Laguna Hills, where he was cared for and loved until his passing on August 21, 2014.
Jack leaves a legacy behind of a Godly life well lived. He is survived by his daughter Bonnie, her husband, Vince, grandchildren Carrie, her husband, Scott Schultz, Steve, his wife Sally, and Matthew, along with five great grandchildren, Gaby, Andy, Gracie, Tori, Ashley Lueras and two great, great grandchildren, Hayden and Parker.