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Obituary: Robert N. Benham '38

Robert N. Benham Age 96, of Edina, MN, passed away peacefully embraced by his loving family on February 24, 2012. A lifelong Twin Cities resident, Bob graduated from Mechanic Arts High School and Antioch College. Bob's business career spanned decades, including executive positions with 3M, Red Owl Stores, Gamble Skogmo and ADP. Bob also served as Vice Commodore of the Minneapolis Aquatennial. In addition, he formed his own business, Specialty Marketing. A business that specialized in customized coffee and soup mugs to businesses throughout the Midwest. Bob was actively involved with the development of his business until the final days leading to his passing. Bob's passions in life included his family, scuba diving, and music. As a drummer and the leader of several local bands, he was an active musician for over 80 years. His band, The Bob Benham Orchestra was credited with being the first racially integrated band in the Twin Cities in 1941. He has been nominated for the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame and has been featured in Joined at the Hip. His wife, Barbara and son, Bruce, preceded him in death. He is survived by devoted significant other, Bonnie Esse; daughters, Sandra Wingerd (Harry) and Traci Brewington and son, Richard Benham (Melinda). Bob's 13 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren enriched his life. The family wishes to recognize his caregiver, Nene Simmons for her extraordinary loving care and friendship. A memorial in celebration of Bob's life will be held at the Minneapolis Golf Club on Sunday, March 4, 2012 at 5:30 PM. The memorial service will be followed by a light dinner