It is with sadness that we announce the passing of Bradley J Benson, Gibsons resident for the past 38 years.
Brad (the letter J is his middle "name" following a family tradition) was born in Sioux City Iowa. 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, Minnesota 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 US Army. While stationed in Nuremberg, he married Canadian Leigh Kosmolak in 1961, and they had their first child, Scott J Benson in 1962. After returning to the US, Brad completed his Bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa in 1965. He accepted a job with US Steel in Chicago where he had his second child, daughter Kelly O Benson who was born in 1969.
In Sept. 1972, Brad with his wife and two children moved to West Vancouver, BC. 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 80s, he married Pat Tripp, a relationship that ended after ten years.
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.
Brad is predeceased by his parents, his older brother Peter and his younger sister Barbara. He is survived by his younger brother Cremin, his son Scott, his daughter Kelly and her two sons, his grandchildren Chase and Emmett.
Family and friends want to take this opportunity to thank Dr. Ben Bauer and the caring, professional staff at Shorncliffe Hospice Care who were exceptionally kind and supportive.