NORTH OAKS, Minn.— Milton Lewis Benham, a summer resident of Creede for more than 40 years, died in North Oaks, Minn. on Sept. 5, 2017 after a long illness. He was 88.
Benham was born Feb. 15, 1929 in Vernon, Texas to George Sherman Benham and Mina Walling Benham.
After graduating high school in Pampa, Texas, Milton worked in retail, managing Texas department stores in Snyder, Odessa, and Monahans until he opened Benham’s Men’s Shop and Circle B Western Wear in Monahans. He was active in Rotary Club, the Chamber of Commerce and the Monahans Country Club, where he loved playing golf and served as president for many years. He helped start the Greater Ward County Food Shelf and “fill-a-bag” food drives both in Monahans and in Creede.
Milton was an avid and skilled dry-fly fisherman—often in the Rio Grande, the Little Squaw River, and other high-altitude streams of the San Juan National Forest near Creede. He was also an accomplished wood craftsman, building exquisite tables, bookcases, and cabinetry and bedroom suites for his family. Great-grandchildren are now sleeping in the bunk beds that he built.
After moving from Monahans to North Oaks, Minnesota in 2008, Milton added beekeeping to his many enthusiasms. He kept hives in his backyard, working with his grandchildren to manage the hives and extract the honey—much of which was distributed to friends and family.
His parents, his brother Duward, and his sister Maurice preceded him in death. He is survived by his wife of 69 years, Maurine (Rene); son Randall and daughter-in-law Patricia of North Oaks, Minn.; six grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren and sister Dorothy Chisum of Pampa, Texas as well as nieces and nephews.
Friends may direct condolences to Milton’s son, Randy, at [email protected]