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Walter M. Benton, ex-owner of auto repair shop; Sept. 8, 1935 -- Aug. 20, 2011

Walter M. Benton, former owner of Benton & Son's Auto Repair Shop on the East Side, died Saturday in his Buffalo home. He was 75.

Mr. Benton, known to many as "Mr. B," was born in Hatchechubbee, Ala., moving to Buffalo as a youngster. He was an Army veteran and worked as a crane operator in addition to operating his auto repair shop, which also sold used cars.

Mr. Benton was also a rhythm and blues musician, playing guitar and singing in many local clubs. He performed with Sonny Boy Williamson and Count Rabbit, among others.

He was a member of the Masons for many years and was active in the Ernst Street Block Club.

He was preceded in death in 1994 by his wife of 38 years, Doris.

Survivors include two sons, Adrian and Walter T.; five daughters, Trudean, Ladina, Crystal, Carla Pringle and Derelaine Smith; and a special friend, Nancy Young.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. Monday in Mount Olive Baptist Church, 701 E. Delavan Ave. They will be preceded by 10 a.m. visitation.

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