William B. Benson, 80, passed away after a lengthily illness on January 16, 2021. He was born in Clarksburg, WV to the late Ray and Mary (Lake) Benson and moved to Akron at age 3. He was a graduate of East High School, he earned the Eagle rank in Boy Scouts, earned a B.S. Degree in Business Administration from the University of Akron and completed correspondence courses related to stock brokerage and security analysis from the New York Institute of Finance.
William began his lengthy employment career with Eastman Dillon Union Securities Company and became branch manager at Hartzman & Company. He was an options specialist at Bache & Company and was an engineering accountant for Goodyear Tire & Rubber.
Trains, however, were truly Bill’s passion. He was owner and operator of Steam Tours Inc. and was engineer and chief mechanical officer for American Freedom Train Foundation https://www.freedomtrain.org/american-freedom-train-home.htm
He was a member of the Toy Train Collectors Association, was president of American Coal Enterprises and owned Right-of-Way Industries Inc. model trains. John Menard became a good customer, and thanks to their business relationship, Bill became an importer for Menard’s. He loved collecting Lionel Trains and was an American History buff.
The family would like to extend their sincere thanks to Grace Hospice for their heartfelt care of Bill.
William is survived by his wife Wilmalee, with whom he spent 40 years; son, William Benson, Jr.; brother, Charles (Beverly) Benson; niece, Brenda (David) Harstine; nephews, Ray III (Sheila) Benson, David (Dee Ann) Benson and Charles Jr. (Michele) Benson; and great-nephews and nieces, Josh, Jon, Kaleigh, Annalisa, Ray IV, Bethany, Tiffany; and dear family friend, Dan VanPelt. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother, Ray Jr. (Jean) Benson and niece, Kathleen Benson.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, January 23, 2021 at 2 p.m. at the Eckard Baldwin Funeral Home and Chapel, 760 E. Market St., with Pastor Frank Zugaro officiating. The family will receive friends at the funeral home for one hour prior to the service, from 1 – 2 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Diabetes Association in Bill's memory.
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