Benson Van Vranken Beneker ’36 died on May 1, 2007, in New Bedford, Massachusetts.
Born on September 29, 1913, in Provincetown, Mass., he prepared for college at The Loomis Chaffee School in Windsor, Conn., and attended Bowdoin from 1934 to 1936. He also attended New York University as a journalism major. He was a staff writer for The Cape Cod Colonial in Hyannis, Mass., in 1936-37 and at The New Haven Register in New Haven, Conn., in 1937, editor at the Millerton (N.Y.) News in 1937-38, and a reporter for The Providence Journal in Rhode Island from 1938 to 1941. During World War II, he served in the U.S. Naval Reserve in naval intelligence and communications, attaining the rank of ensign and serving in the Pacific theater of operations. In 1946, he continued his career in public relations with the Bell Telephone System in New York City and Detroit, Mich. He retired as general advertising manager of Michigan Bell in 1976. He was a member of the Advertising Club of Detroit, the Crescent Sail Yacht Club in Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich., and he served on the Bayview Yacht Club Race Committee in Detroit. He married Alberta Gibbs in 1941; she died in 1999. He is survived by a daughter, Katrina Beneker of South Dartmouth, Mass.; two sons, Gerrit Beneker of Lake Orion, Mich., and Jan Nicholas Beneker of Bloomfield, Mich., two grandsons; and a sister, Helen Menin of Brewster, Mass.