John Benda, 92, returned to his maker onJune 30, 2020. He resided at the Randolph County Nursing Home in Sparta, Illinois, until the time of his death.
Funeral services for John will be held Oct. 9 at 10 am, at the Black Hills National Cemetery near Sturgis South Dakota where his ashes will be placed in Columbium with military veterans’ honors.
John was born on April 20, 1928 in Ainsworth, Neb., to his parents John & Belinda (Hendrickson) Benda who resided at that time south of Millboro, SD. The eldest of the children, John grew up on the family farm and ranch outside Winner SD alongside his 5 other siblings.
He attended schools in Winner and Ainsworth, NE where he graduated in 1946. Immediately after graduating high school, John joined the newest branch of the military, the United States Air Force. He was one of the first trained group of airman mechanics for Jet propulsion.
He was part of the post WWII peace keeping troops sent overseas to Okinawa Japan with the 26th Fighter Squadron in 1947. He left the military with honors at the rank of sergeant.
John entered college after the military, playing football for both Nebraska State (1950) and Ohio State (51) until an injury ended athletic goals.
John was a high school and college athlete participating in several sports such as football, boxing, and baseball. In team sport photos, he was always in the middle of the back row, being one of the tallest athletes on a team. John relocated to Kansas City, Mo., where he met his first wife Florence M. (Greulich) Benda. The two were married in 1954 for 24 years. They had three childrenand relocated to St. Louis, Mo, in 1969.
John was remarried in 1986 to Ceil Wachter and later separated. John lived his final years in the town of Sparta Illinois, just southeast of St. Louis, Mo.
John was a Christian celebrating at different Christian denomination churches throughout his life. John or Jack as many referred to him, spent his life pursuing a variety of business careers. A few of which were heating & cooling, a funeral home, motel, restaurant, and moving & storage company.
Our father was a kind and gentle man. You never heard him speak negative or discriminatory of others, and you liked him for those reasons.
John is survived by his sister Mazie Marcella ( Benda) Brandt of Rapid City. His three children Carol Ann (Benda) Bennett of St. Louis Mo., John Joseph Benda of Superior, Mont., and Neil Richard Benda of St. Louis, Mo. John has many surviving In-Laws, nieces, nephews, and cousins.
John was preceded in death by his parents John Benda and Belinda (Hendrickson) Benda. His sisters Peggy Marrie (Benda) Ballou and Cornelia Ann (Benda) Yost.
His brothers Robert Willard Benda and Russell Vac Benda. Wife Florence Marie (Greulich) Benda.
Donations can be sent in John Benda’s behalf to your favorite charity of choice.