Obituary of John Benson
John Allan Benson of Bellingham, WA passed away on Wednesday, September 26, 2018 following an extended illness. John was born in Bellingham on August 1, 1935. The son of a dairy farmer and Registered Nurse, Herbin and Wilma (Siegel) Benson, John grew up on the family farm north of Lynden on the Depot Rd. along with his four sisters.
John was a proud graduate of the WSU Pharmacy program. After graduating he returned to his friends and family in Whatcom County. Johnny was soon introduced to his future wife, Mary Elizabeth Phillips. The two were married on June 30, 1962. The couple moved to San Bernardino, CA shortly thereafter and had two sons (Chris and Tim) before returning to Bellingham where they had their third child, Amy.
John was a family man. He was dedicated to his parents and sisters but mostly to his wife, kids and grandchildren. His grandchildren (Brad, Brianna, Addison and Zachary) gave John a special joy. He was very proud of them all. He never missed a recital or sporting event that his children were involved in. Family camping trips were a highlight. Many nights were spent at Birch Bay over the summers with numerous relatives and family friends joining the fun. It was not a Benson camping trip without many late night visits from the Camp Ranger to tell the Benson Crew to quiet down.
John was a business man. He owned and operated the Discount City Pharmacy for many years until Discount City closed. He then re-named the business to Benson’s DC Pharmacy and opened shop on James Street. He was very well respected by his peers and longtime customers. He was very active with the Washington State Pharmacy Association and helped to lobby legislators for fair and responsible laws affecting his industry.
John was a community man. He taught his children the importance of service to the community. He was active with the Elks Club and later the Lions Club. As a Past President of the Bellingham Central Lions Club, John was thrilled when he was awarded the Melvin Jones Fellowship Award and was given a lifetime membership. After retiring his passion turned to golfing and he was very active in the Lake Padden Senior Mens League for many years.
John was preceded in death by this parents, Herbin and Wilma, and his wife Mary (Phillips). He is survived by his children: Chris (Tracie Day), Tim (Tara Norcross), and Amy (Scott Garland). Grandchildren: Bradley Benson, Zachary Garland, Brianna Garland, and Addison Garland. Sisters: Dorothy Henkel, Sylvia Benson, and the twins Barbara Bishop and Beverly Vifian.
The family would like to thank the caring staff from Avamere on Birchwood, the nurses, social workers and especially the volunteers of Whatcom County Hospice. In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to the Bellingham Central Lions Club or the Lighthouse Mission.
A celebration of John’s life will be held on Friday, October 5th, 2018 at 3:00PM at Moles Farewell Tributes Greenacres (5700 NW Dr. Ferndale)