Gibsons, British Columbia, formerly Sioux City
Bradley J Benson, 78, a 38-year resident of Gibsons, British Columbia, formerly Sioux City, passed away on July 29, 2018.
Brad (the letter J is his middle name following a family tradition) was born on Feb. 4, 1940, in Sioux City. He was the second son of Harold O Benson and Francis Cremin Benson. Harold Benson was a businessman who owned the Benson Building, the largest office building in Sioux City.
Following in the footsteps of his father, Brad attended Shattuck Military Academy in Faribault, Minn., and was proud to be a member of their award-winning Crack Squad. After Shattuck, he attended Claremont Men's College in California.
In 1959, he joined the U.S. Army. While stationed in Nuremberg, Germany, he married Canadian Leigh Kosmolak in 1961, and they had their first child, Scott J Benson in 1962. After returning to the U.S., Brad completed his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, in 1965. He accepted a job with U.S. Steel in Chicago, where he had his second child, daughter, Kelly O Benson, who was born in 1969.
In September 1972, Brad with his wife and two children moved to West Vancouver, British Columbia. The marriage ended in 1974. In 1980, Brad moved to the Sunshine Coast, where he became an integral part of the community of Gibsons. In the early 1980s, he married Pat Tripp, a relationship that ended after 10 years.
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In 1987, he was involved with the building of cabins in what is now the Tetrahedron Provincial Park. During this time, he developed a love for the environment that lead to his involvement in the formation of the Tetrahedron Alliance and the successful campaign to have the Tetrahedron classified as a Provincial Park.
He was a founding director of the Sunshine Coast Conservation Association and was its longest serving chair. His commitment to the environment earned him the Johns Hind Smith Award for a lifetime of contribution to the environment. He will be remembered as a champion for the environment and a true friend to the community.
Brad was well known by many on the Sunshine Coast and enjoyed the warm support of close friends, particularly in the last six months of his life.
He is survived by his younger brother, Cremin; his son, Scott; his daughter, Kelly, and her two sons, his grandchildren, Chase and Emmett.
Brad is predeceased by his parents; his older brother, Peter; and his younger sister, Barbara.