Gaylord Nelson Benton, 88, passed away May 9, 2019. A visitation will be held from 10-10:30 AM, service 10:30, on Wednesday, May 22, at Johnson County Funeral Chapel, 11200 Metcalf Ave, Overland Park, KS 66210. Burial will follow at Higginsville Veterans Cemetery.
He was retired from service as an attorney in the Legal Department of Texaco Inc. and had lived in Blue Springs since 1985. He was born June 2, 1930, to Vernon Benton and Mabel Viola (Nelson) Benton at Osage City, KS, a community where his father’s family had lived since the 1870’s. After graduation from the University of Kansas with a bachelor’s degree in finance and a master’s degree in economics, he attended officer candidate school at Newport, RI, and served on active duty in the naval reserve as a Supply Corps officer in Bayonne, NJ, and Washington, DC. Several years after release from active duty, he was transferred to the Retired Reserve with the permanent rank of full Lieutenant, and he remained in the Retired Reserve until the time of his death.
Upon release from active duty in 1956 he attended law school at The George Washington University and received a law degree with honors. He was associated with the law firm of Lathrop, Righter, Gordon, and Parker in Kansas City, MO, for two years after his graduation from law school, and then was employed as an attorney for Skelly Oil Company in Kansas City until 1972, when he was transferred to Tulsa, OK. He continued his career as an attorney for Skelly Oil Company and its successors, Getty Oil Company and Texaco Inc., until his retirement in 1985.
As a teenager he became a communicant member of Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church in Osage City, KS, and he attended and was a member of Lutheran Churches in the places where he lived. When he returned to the Kansas City area in 1985, he became a member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Independence, MO. He had held a number of church offices and had sung in the choir and larger groups. He also played in a hand bell choir for several years.
During his retirement he became interested in genealogy and traced some lines of his ancestry back to the late 1600’s. His parents and a son, John Kari Benton, who died in infancy, preceded him in death. He is survived by his daughter, Gayle Marie Benton, of the home, by his former wife, Josephine Benton, Independence, MO, and by many other relatives and friends.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 17200 East 39th St S, Independence, MO 64055