Walter Eugene Benskin Jr., age 87, of Kennard went to be with his Lord and Savior September 1, 2016 in League City, Texas. Walter Benskin was born October 18, 1928 in Llano County, Texas to Walter and Willie Benskin. As a youngster, his mother called him “Sonny”, a nickname he kept all of his life. He served in the US Army during the Korean War being stationed in Germany and later was honorably discharged as a Second Lieutenant. He married Martha Lue Burk during those years and remained in that loving state of matrimony for 65 years. Together they raised four children in La Marque, Texas. He worked at Union Carbide Chemical plant in Texas City until his retirement.
Mr. Benskin was a faithful Christian and a generous man. He served as a deacon in La Marque at Highlands Baptist Church and after retiring, at First Baptist Church, Kennard. He taught the Bible to young people in Royal Ambassadors and Awanas. Aware of the need of others, he regularly donated blood at Carbide and after retirement donated more than 11 gallons in Lufkin. In service to his community, he was a member of the Kennard Lions Club. For several years his role in the Kennard Christmas parade was portraying Santa and bringing joy to the crowds. He was active in the Ratcliff Senior Center with an occasional Friday fish fry, cleaning and keeping up the grounds. Never afraid of physical labor, he was friendly, and always ready to help someone in need.
In preparation for retirement, Sonny Benskin purchased property in Kennard, Texas. Aided by his sons and friends he built their retirement log home. He raised cattle and Arabian horses. This place became a yearly destination for the large extended family as they gathered together at the end of June every summer. When grandchildren came along, he and Martha took on the titles “Opa” and “Oma”. To many others, these became their names rather than their titles.
Walter “Sonny” Benskin was preceded in death by his son, Walter Eugene Benskin III. He is survived by his wife, Martha Benskin of Kennard; children, Brenda and Gary Dunham of League City, Cheryl Benskin of Alvin, Robert Joseph and Jeannie Benskin of Spring, and Catherine and Timothy O’Briant of Cypress; brothers, James and Caroline Benskin of Pleasanton, and Charles Benskin of Cherokee; grandchildren, Jared and Sarah Dunham of Boston, MA, Misty and Curtis Sheidler of Knoxville, TN, Shari and Ryan DuSold of Newport News, VA, Krystal and Mack Newell of Alvin, Kelly and Danny Brandon of Texas City, Krisa Benskin and Niki Roberts of Houston, Bryan Benskin of Houston, Tucker and Dora Kayla O’Briant of Cypress, Daniel and Melody O’Briant of Tomball, Katie and Andrew Dowling of Jacksonville, FL; a dozen great-grandchildren, many loving nephews, nieces and extended family across the states and a host of friends near and far.
Funeral services for Walter Eugene Benskin, Jr. will be held Saturday, September 3, 2016 at 10:30 a.m. in the First Baptist Church of Kennard. Interment will follow in the Antioch Cemetery in Ratcliff. The family will receive friends Friday from 5:00-7:00 p.m. at the Callaway-Allee Funeral Home.