Robert Ralph Benson passed away on June 2, 2019 at his home just a few hours shy of his 91st birthday. He was born on June 3, 1928 in Parowan, Utah to William Roy Benson Sr. and Klea Gunn, and was the fourth of seven children; Sheldon, Lynn, Chester, Ralph, Eugene, Mary, and Roy.
Ralph graduated from Parowan High School and then moved to Provo to attend Brigham Young University. During his Senior year, he served as Student Body President and helped launch BYU’s initial Honor Code. He was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and, upon Graduation from BYU, he taught Seminary in Delta, Utah for a year before leaving for a Church Mission. He was assigned to the Hong Kong mission but due to the Korean War was sent to San Francisco’s China Town. That mission was closed after a few months at which time he was transferred to the Argentine mission. Upon his return from the mission, he went to work in the insurance business, eventually establishing his own agency with Farmers Insurance.
He was devoted to his family and church. He was a loving father to eleven children. He married Ruth Richmond and they were the parents of six children: Valeri Purkiss, Robert Shawn Benson, Jacen Brook Benson (Annette), Natalie Benson, Bryn Shepherd (Morris), and Nathan Wells Benson (Sharalen). He later married Lindalie Austin and was a step-father to David Quinn LeBaron (Francie), Harold Todd LeBaron (Robyn), Ronald Tracy LeBaron (Erin), Jared Clayton LeBaron (Michelle) and father of Carson Page Benson (Jessica). He has 36 grandchildren and 26 great grandchildren and counting.
His church service included Bishop, Branch President at the Church’s Missionary Training Center, BYU Bishopric, BYU First Stake High Councilman, Sunday School President, and teacher to name a few.
Ralph has always been interested in service. He served two terms in the Utah State Legislature, was chairman of the Utah County Cancer Drive, was a member of Kiwanis, a service organization where he served as Governor of the Utah/Idaho District and has 60 years of perfect attendance at his meetings. He was a member of the Sons of Utah Pioneers and served as President of the organization for a year and later as chairman of the Scholarship Committee.
This special man truly loved BYU and was an ardent supporter of the school and its activities. He was a lifetime member of the Cougar Club, and a past member of the BYU Alumni Emeriti Association Committee.
Ralph had a wonderful work ethic. In everything he did…in his work, church, service organizations or personal pursuits, he went above and beyond what was required and excelled in everything. He had a keen, creative mind and made the simplest responsibilities into major events or productions. His great sense of humor was enjoyed by all who knew him.
He is proceeded in death by his first wife, Ruth Richmond, his parents, all of his siblings, and two grandsons, Jacob Rowley and Chase Benson.
Ralph will be remembered as a kind, loving, generous man who was a true friend to many. He was always willing to take time to help or comfort those in need. The world is a better place because Robert Ralph Benson was here.
Funeral Services will be Friday, June 7, 2019, 1:00 p.m., Cascade 3rd Ward, 1051 East 200 North, Orem. Family and friends may visit Thursday, June 6, 2019, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m., Walker Sanderson Funeral Home, 646 East 800 North, Orem and prior to services on Friday the 7th, 11:30 - 12:45 p.m. at the church. Interment will be in American Fork City Cemetery, 600 North 100 East, American Fork, UT. Condolences may be offered, and memories shared with the family online at www.walkersanderson.com.