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Karl "Ted" Benson '71 April 13, 2017 1:42 PM updated: April 13, 2017 1:45 PM

Emerald Coast Funeral Home obituary
161 Racetrack Road NW
Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547

Karl Theodore Benson
June 3, 1942 ~ April 9, 2017 (age 74)

Karl Theodore “Ted” Benson, 74, of Shalimar, Florida went to be with his Lord after his hard fight with melanoma. He died at his home with his wife Jannie (Jane) and daughter Serena by his side on April 9, 2017.

Ted was born June 3, 1942 at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington D.C. to Karl Ludwig and Zella Irene (O’Neal) Benson. He lived in Annandale, Virginia, and graduated from Falls Church High School. He graduated from Duke University in 1964 with a B.S., majoring in Mathematics. While attending Duke he sang in the Chapel Choir for four years, was a member of the Lamda Chi fraternity, and ROTC. Upon graduation he was commissioned into the USAF as a 2nd lieutenant. He graduated University of Colorado in 1966 with a Master’s Degree in Mathematics, and from Texas A&M in 1971 with a Ph.D. in Operations Research. He then served at Offutt AFB and at SAC Headquarters in Nebraska. He also worked at the Pentagon in Washington D.C. for many years.

Ted retired from Eglin AFB as a USAF Major in 1985. Ted received numerous awards for his outstanding service in the USAF. In 1990 he met the former Jannie (Jane) B. McCallum in Shalimar, Florida and they were married in 1997. He enjoyed working in his yard and planting numerous flowers in their gardens. He and Jane were members of three local square dance clubs and enjoyed spending their free time either dancing or playing bridge with their friends. Ted also enjoyed traveling around the world with Jane, collecting numerous souvenirs from their many adventures. He loved music, dancing, singing, and all the patriotic aspects of Washington D.C. and the Armed Forces. He instilled a love of culture and the arts in all of his children.

His wife Jannie B. Benson of Shalimar, Florida, survives Ted. He had one daughter, Serena Leanne Benson of Alexandria, Virginia, from his first wife, Jane Vintinner, and two children, Christopher Paul Benson and his fiancé Robin Wilson-Beattie and grandchild Abigael Beattie of San Francisco, California; Jennifer Benson Roderick and her husband Michael Roderick and grandchildren Charity, Charles and Esther of Blue Ridge, Georgia, from his second wife, Mary Lou Manica. Tammie McLemore Davis and her husband Brook Davis of Darlington, Florida. Children of Tammie Davis and first husband, L. Michael Bell of Brooks, Georgia, Justin Bell of Atlanta, Georgia, and Brittany Turner and her husband Russell Turner from Snellville, Georgia and two great grandchildren Belle Olivia Turner of Snellville, Georgia and Amber Rene Davis of Darlington, Florida. Tracy Jean French and her husband Jonathan French and grandchildren Nicholas, Presley and Chance of Layton, Utah; his brother Donovan Benson of Waterloo, Iowa. His parents Karl and Zella preceded him in death.

A celebration of his life service will be held at 11:00 am, Saturday, April 22 at Shalimar United Methodist Church, 1 Old Ferry Rd., Shalimar, Florida 32579. Dr. Philip McVay and Rev. Brian Dale will be officiating. Friends may call from 10:00 – 11:00 am, Saturday at Shalimar United Methodist Church. There will be a fellowship of friends and family following the service at 12:00 pm at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 1 Meigs Dr., Shalimar, Florida 32579. Burial will follow at Barancas National Cemetery in Pensacola, Florida on Monday, April 24 at 1:30 pm. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in memory of Karl Theodore Benson to MD Anderson Cancer Center, P.O. Box 4486, Houston, TX 77210-4486 for melanoma research. Expressions of love and sympathy can be viewed at

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