ONEONTA – Robert “Bob” C. Benson, who founded the Benson Agency here and operated it for 35 years, passed away on March 7, 2020, in Summerfield, Fla., four weeks shy of his 90th birthday.
He was the husband of Rosalie (Ropiak) Benson for 62 years.
Bob was born on April 9, 1930, in Ellenville, Ulster County, a son of Clyde Samuel and Marguerite (Hamilton) Benson. He was a graduate of Ithaca College, and served as a pilot in the Air Force.
He then went on to a successful career as an insurance agent. He founded the Benson Agency in Oneonta and operated the business for 35 years.
While in business, Bob volunteered his time to many civic associations in Oneonta, including the Kiwanis Club, Jaycees and Future for Oneonta Foundation. He also served on the board of Fox Memorial Hospital.
For many years, he was a member of a barbershop quartet. During his leisure time, he was an avid golfer. He played before and during his retirement and enjoyed gardening and cooking. Bob also was a family man and adored spending time with his wife, children, grandchildren and dog, Prince Harry.
Bob is survived by his wife, Rosalie; and children, JoAnn Vosburgh and husband, Mark of Hudson, Ohio, Robert C. Benson Jr. and wife, Pam of Summerfield, Fla., and Sue Benson Kowalczyk of Oxford, Fla. He is also survived by brothers, Peter W. Benson and wife, Elizabeth, of Ellenville, and Thomas G. Benson and wife, Carolyn, of Grand Isle, Vt. He also leaves two grandchildren, Francis Robert Benson and Shanleigh Nicole Benson and several nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by a second son, William C. Benson.
The family will receive friends from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, March 15, at Hiers-Baxley Funeral Services, 1511 Buenos Aires Blvd., The Villages, Fla.
A funeral Mass will be held at 10 a.m. Monday, March 16, at St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church in Summerfield. Interment will follow in Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell, Fla.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to a hospice or charity of one’s choice.
A separate memorial will be planned for Bob in Oneonta this summer.