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BENSON, Charles William

BENSON - Charles William Executive in Food Industry, Charles W. Benson, 70, an Albion native who gained national recognition in the food industry and who gave years of community service in Medina and across Orleans County, died on Thursday, January 13, 2011 at his home after a long battle with Lou Gehrig's disease. He was born January 22, 1940, the son of Harold William Benson and Bertha Ruth Tomaschke and after early education at Albion H.S. he attended University of Buffalo for five years. The deceased entered the work force with various canning companies including Speas Co. of Lyndonville and he later became co-owner of a new enterprise, Lyndonville Vinegar Co. That company was acquired by Nakano Ltd. (now Mizkan), a firm with world-wide influence, and Mr. Benson remained there as senior vice-president for national sales and acquisitions. During his professional career he served on the board of directors and as treasurer of the Associated NYS Food Processors. Possessing energy and a desire for community involvement, Benson accepted challenges early in his adult life and spent most of those years as a resident of Medina. He was chairman of the Orleans Co. Industrial Development Agency and had the satisfaction of seeing Arnold Gregory Hospital and Hunt Foods properties converted to business development; also the takeover of Medina's ABEX plant by Brunner Inc. He was chairman of the Medina Canal Task Force, which he helped to create and which brought about the Medina canal basin park and hiking trail and also a canal heritage plan. The deceased was president of Medina Rotary Club and chairman of Rotary Park, which he helped establish in downtown Medina along with the combined efforts of Mayor Marcia Tuohey, Public Wks. Chief Edward Houseknecht and Job Corps Dir. Lowell Lee. His Rotary interests grew to the point where he was a member of District 7090 Council. Survivors include his wife of 27 years, Jean Benson, Also children and grandchildren. Included are Scott (Teresa) Benson of Medina with grandchildren Katherine, Emily and Alexander. Also, Mark (Christina) Benson of Lockport with grandson Andrew. Also, David (Hannah) Benson of Vallejo, CA. A daughter, Kimberly Benson Lamay, died in 2002 leaving Dalton and Elizabeth Lamay of Lyndonville. Relatives and friends may call on Monday, January 17, 2011, from 2-4 PM and 7-9 PM at the BATES & TUTTLE FUNERAL HOME, 226 Pearl St., Medina, NY, where a funeral service will be held on Tuesday, 11:00 AM with the Rev. James Maxwell officiating. Burial will be in the Mt. Albion Cemetery at the convenience of the family. Memorials may be made in Mr. Benson's name to: Medina Sandstone Society & Trust, PO Box 25, Medina, NY 14103. Please sign the on-line register book at: www.batestuttle.com

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