LTC Milton Benz was a potential VHPA member who died after his tour in Vietnam on 11/02/2012 at the age of 85.2
Highlands Ranch, CO
Date of Birth 08/13/1927
Served in the U.S. Army
This information was provided by Barry Geller, SSN search Aug 2013

More detail on this person: LTC MILTON BENZ (US Army Retired) died peacefully on November 2, 2012 at his home in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Donna; his loving son and daughter-in-law, Harley and Suzie Benz; beloved daughter and son-in-law, Vicki Benz and Kevin Murphy; two beautiful grand children, Davis and Mark Benz. Milton is survived by his brothers, Lyle Benz of Estancia, New Mexico, John Benz of Mound, Minnesota, Gordon Benz of Denver, Colorado, and sister Pauline Townsend of Herrin, Illinois. He is brother to the late Marval Fosse of Hazen, North Dakota.

Born near Tosten, Montana in 1927, Milton's family settled on a homestead south of Knife River near the town of Hazen, North Dakota. Milton graduated from Hazen High School at the age of 17 in 1944 and promptly entered the United States Marine Corps, following his older brothers Lyle and John into World War II. He served in the Pacific Theater of the war, ending his tour of duty in northern China. Milton spent an additional year in China assisting in the repatriation of more than 1 million Japanese soldier back to Japan. Upon completion of active duty, Milton returned to North Dakota where he was hospitalized for many months in a VA hospital in Grand Forks, North Dakota with encephalitis contracted during his tour of duty in Asia. Upon recovery, Milton attended the University of North Dakota where he obtained an undergraduate degree in business and a commission in the United States Army. Following graduation, fighting began in the Korean peninsula, so Milton spent 3 years in Korea serving as a 1st and 2nd Lieutenant infantry. Following the Armistice, Milton returned to civilian life to work on his Masters Degree in Business Administration at the University of North Dakota. During his studies he also obtained his private airplane license. Because of a shortage of military pilots, Milton returned to active duty to attend US Army flight school.

Between wars and global security crises, Milton married Donna Mae Hagen of Finley, North Dakota. They had a son, Harley, born in 1957 and a daughter, Vicki, born in 1958 both at Fort Benning, Georgia. Milton served two tours in Vietnam (1965 and 1968) as a combat helicopter pilot. He was a highly decorated officer and aviator earning the Combat Infantry Badge, 3 Bronze Stars, 12 US Army Air Medals and a Joint Service Accommodation medal. His other service medals include combat medals for World War II, the Korean War and a Purple Heart. Milton retired from active duty in 1975.

Upon retirement, Milton finally finished his Masters in Business Administration at the University of Missouri at Kansas City, some 20 years after starting it. He taught Business Law and Accounting at Penn Valley Community College from 1977 to 1992, when he retired for a second time to move to Highlands Ranch, Colorado to help raise his two beloved grand children, Mark and Davis Benz of Golden, Colorado.

For the last 20 years he spent most of his time hunting, fishing, hiking, making new friends, traveling the world, helping Harley and Suzie raise their two boys and helping daughter Vicki with various projects. He and his beloved wife travelled in Europe, North Africa, the Mediterranean, Caribbean and North America. He also participated in numerous field experiments with his son and his colleagues through the Volunteer for Science program at the United States Geological Survey. He was widely regarded in these field efforts for working longer and harder than staff half of his age. He was also loved for habitually paying for the field crews dinner, even when they had their own per diem. He was also active in Pheasants Forever, helping his dear friend John Gorman of Yuma, Colorado to establish hundreds of acres of new pheasant habitat in eastern Colorado.

He was exceptionally close to his two grandchildren having spent most of the last 20 years teaching them about all the things he loved to do. They admired his incredible toughness and thoughtfulness in caring for others. Always putting the greater good ahead of his self-interest. His many camping trips with them were epic, usually involving enough food to feed a battalion and all of grandkids friends. He leaves behind two well-balanced men who are leaders in his tradition and great outdoorsmen in their own right.

He leaves behind many friends and family who recognized him most for his unbounded optimism, extraordinary sense of humor and eagerness to always help others. His was an extraordinary life, having witnessed much of the bad of the 20th century and actively participating in shaping the good.

A funeral service will be held on Friday, November 23, 2012 at ten o'clock in the morning at Olinger Chapel Hill Mortuary, 6601 S Colorado Blvd, Centennial, CO 80121.

This information was last updated 05/18/2016

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Date posted on this site: 06/15/2024

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