Charles Dale “Joe” Benson, 83, of Laramie, died on Memorial Day, May 30, at home. He was born April 22, 1939 in Laramie, Wyoming to Charles W. and Irma (Marsh) Benson. Joe developed a good work ethic as a youngster and at age ten had a paper route, riding his bicycle in the dark to make deliveries before going to school. In his early teens he was hired at Greenhill Cemetery to cut grass using a push mower.
Joe was a gifted athlete and a three-sport letter winner in high school (football, basketball, track) and played baseball in the summer. He played on two state championship football teams in 1955 and 1956 coached by John Deti, Sr. In 1956 he was a co-captain and given Flory’s Football Award to the Outstanding Senior.
After Laramie High School graduation in 1957, he joined the Marine Corp starting basic training at Camp Pendleton, CA. During his two years of active duty, he played on their football team. Before his discharge the Corp encouraged him to join their “special forces” unit, but he opted to come home and play football at the University of Wyoming. A season ending injury his first year prevented him from using the rest of his scholarship, so after graduation he used his knowledge and expertise as an assistant football coach at the high school level for nearly 30 years.
In 1964 Joe married his college sweetheart, Lynn Beltz, and they remained in Laramie after he graduated in 1966. He worked construction until a permanent job became available, and by 1967 they were blessed with son, Joe, and daughter, Jill. All four family members were born at the original Ivinson Memorial Hospital on Ivinson Ave., which was later demolished.
During summer of 1967, the Superintendent of Schools from Torrington, WY drove over to his construction job site and hired him on the spot to teach PE at Torrington Junior High School and coach varsity football, basketball, and track.
In 1970 the family moved back to Laramie, and Joe taught PE and Driver Education at Laramie High School. He coached football with John Deti, Sr. and John Deti, Jr., after he succeeded his dad as head coach. During the Deti era the Plainsmen had many successful seasons, including a number of state championships.
Joe joined the Army National Guard of Wyoming in 1974 and served until 1977 when it became incompatible with his civilian occupation. He was given the Rifle M16 Sharpshooter award during that time.
Joe retired in 2001 to spend more time with his family and pursue his numerous passions. He was a wonderful husband, dad, grandpa, great grandpa and great role model. For 30+ years he and Lynn were faithful followers of their son’s football team in Scottsbluff, NE. Joe lived life to its fullest, and was an avid and successful hunter and fisherman spending many days in the great outdoors of Wyoming, Montana and Nebraska.
He was preceded in death by his parents, two brothers, Warren and Gary Benson, brother-in-law, Rick Ellwanger, nephew, Garth Benson and niece, Brandie Casas.
Joe is survived by his bride of 58 years, Lynn; son, Joe (Jodi) Benson; daughter, Jill (Mike) Malloy; granddaughter Abby Benson (Garrett) Treffer; grandson, Ty Benson; great grandsons, Brody and Tate Treffer; sister, Bonnie (Jim) Ross; sisters-in-law, Joann Benson; Suzie Schatz Benson Hills; Judi Beltz Ellwanger; Patti Beltz Roylance; several nieces and nephews, great nieces and nephews, great great nieces and nephews, and a number of close friends.
On July 9 at 1:00 p.m. there will be military honors by the U.S. Marine Corps and Laramie Veteran’s Honor Guard followed by a memorial reception. Both events will be at the First Christian Church, 2130 E. Garfield. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Joe’s name to Hospice of Laramie, 1754 Centennial Dr., Laramie, WY 82070.
I'm glad I got to sit and visit with Joe a few times in the last several years to talk Cowboy and Plainsman football. It was a lot of fun to reminisce about the old days. He was very proud of his children and kept me up on there accomplishments. He was also very interested in my family and what they were doing and where they are now. We also talked hunting and fishing and he had an open invitation to come up north and fish. He was a strong and tough man and a good example for young men as I was growing up. I will miss seeing him at Cowboy Football games. My thoughts are of his family, whom he cared for so much.
Lynn, Tom and I are so sorry for your loss. Joe's obituary is beautifully written and wonderfully describes such a full life! As your neighbors, we are sorry we were not able to know him. We are sorry we will not be able to attend his funeral service but know you and your family are in our prayers.
Sorry for your loss ! He was incredibly awesome man I loved playing ball for him! Take care little Joe & Jill & Mom my thoughts and sadness are with you!
I am sorry sad about Joe's passing...I got to know Joe and Lynn while working at Edward Jones with Steve Gosar. Joe would stop by the branch and get a piece of chocolate, usually each day. It was always a pleasure visiting with him and hearing about his latest fishing expeditions. I will miss him so much.
My sincere condolences to all the Benson family. I don't even know where to begin to describe the impact Joe had on my life as well as so many others. He taught and coached but his true genius was teaching us life lessons such as courage, honesty, hard work and perseverance. Some of my fondest memories of times I spent with "Coach." It is said many times, but we are all truly better off for having had Joe in our lives
I was deeply saddened to hear about Coach Benson. Coach Benson was not only a great coach and teacher, he was also a great person who led by example. Please accept my sincere condolences and my thoughts are with the entire Benson family.
Prayers and thoughts are with you Jill and your family.
To the Benson family sorry for your loss. Joe was a great coach. Enjoyed playing for him.
I want to give my condolences to the Joe Benson family as I knew Joe as a friend and as one of my football coaches in 1970 thru 1972. He was always positive and up beat coaching all the kids or young men on the football team. He was always tuned in to the lines, offense and defense. Joe was also a great strength coach for the O-Line and D line. Because of this, we were always strong off the ball and ready to play. This was very evident as we took were state champions our sophomore and senior years, and a second place finish when I was a Junior. Joe needs to be recognized as one of the great coaches at Larame High along with the Deti`s and the other coaches, Coach Bernardo and Coach Freeman. He was a man with great knowledge of the game. May Joe rest in peace and may the Benson family accept my condolences as it is a privilege and an honor to have known Joe as a friend and as one of our coaches in high school.
Thoughts and Prayers 🙏 Mary Moody
My sincere sympathies to Lynn and family. May the good and gracious Lord comfort, encourage and give His peace to you and yours. My prayers are with you all.
It was a real honor & privilege to have known Joe & so happy my son married his fine daughter. Joe will be missed by many, but knowing he is in Heaven & we will see him again is a real blessing. My thoughts & prayers are with Lynn & Family.