Donald Lee Benge

July 29, 1928 –

July 21, 2012

Donald Lee Benge passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family on July 21, 2012.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 53 years, Eula Ray Benge.  

He is survived by his four children; daughters: Sharron Benge-Hartley and spouse, Michael of Waxahachie, Tina Roxan Benge Anderes and spouse, Robert of Arlington, Texas, Holly Benge Bernal and spouse, German of Mallorca, Spain and son, Michael Ray Benge and spouse, Debra of Cherry Hills Village, Colo. Don is also survived by his sisters: Mary Melin and Martha Burke; and his grandchildren: Candice, Kirsten, Reagen, Kathleen, Allison, Rachel, Ryan, Avery, Mark and Alex.

Don was born on July 29, 1928, in Norman, Okla. to Utley Benge and Roxis Lee Poulk.

Don graduated from Albuquerque High School and attended the University of New Mexico, where he was a member of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity. Don proudly served his country in the Coast Guard for two years. In 1951, Don was married to Ray in Albuquerque, N.M. Shortly after their marriage, they moved to Jamaica where Don oversaw the installation of a major rail line across the Jamaican jungle. They returned to live in Hobbs, N.M. for four years, where Don worked as the city engineer and Director of Public Works, before moving to El Paso, where they lived for 23 years raising their family. Don worked for Border Steel and later became Vice President of Engineering and Fabrication and also served as Alderman at large for the city of El Paso from 1971 to 1973. In the early 1980s he moved to Waxahachie, where his new company had installed a rebar coating line and fabrication shop. Don, a pioneer in the steel industry, had a long and notable career and he is credited with building one of the largest privately held rebar fabrication and epoxy coating companies in the country.

After the successful sale of his companies in 2008, Don was able to spend more time pursuing his love of horse racing.  Amongst his horses, A.U. Miner and Wise River were invited to race in the prestigious Breeders Cup on two separate occasions. Don was a licensed pilot, a member of the National Ski Patrol, an avid traveler and staunchly dedicated to his family.

He was a strong and loving husband, father and friend. Together, Don and Ray shaped the lives of not only their family, but also all who came to know them well. Don’s life is a true example of the results of hard work and dedication. He provided for his family in innumerable ways while reminding all that life was worth celebrating and sharing with the people you love most. Don’s love of family was unparalleled and his generosity has no end. He will be greatly missed, but in his absence he leaves a profound legacy not often seen.

He was a member of St. Paul Episcopal Church in Waxahachie. A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. July 28, 2012.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations in the name of Don L. Benge to St. Paul Episcopal Church, 624 Ovilla Road, Waxahachie, TX 75165 or Enlisted Education Grants Coast Guard Foundation, 394 Taugwonk Road, Stonington, CT 06378.