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Robert Charles Benn Sr.
January 16, 1928 ~ November 14, 2023 (age 95) 95 Years Old
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Robert Charles Benn, Sr., 95 years old, passed away peacefully in his home on Tuesday, November 14th, 2023. He was predeceased by his loving wife, Gladys Sophie Benn after 61 wonderful years.
Bob was born on January 16th, 1928 in Glen Ridge, New Jersey, to his loving parents Charles and Christina Benn. He grew up in nearby Bloomfield. He attended public schools there, and then onto studies in mechanical engineering at the Stevens Institute of Technology. He took a break from college to join the U.S. Army, and served his country honorably in Korea. He returned, and graduated from Stevens in 1951. He met and married Gladys Breckwoldt shortly thereafter.
Bob started his career at U.S. Steel in Pittsburgh as an engineer. He transitioned to sales engineering, returning to Russell, Holbrook & Henderson to work in sales engineering, selling precision machinery. A natural entrepreneur, he then started his own manufacturing business in Connecticut, namely Vanguard Products Corporation. While building the small business, he simultaneously continued working in sales with his own manufacturer’s representative business selling machinery, the R.C. Benn Company. He grew both businesses over the sixties, and subsequently concentrated solely on Vanguard Products, which he owned until his retirement in 1992. Additionally, he served in the Naval Reserve during those years.
Upon retirement, Bob and Gladys enjoyed family, and frequent trips to the Jersey shore, where they kept a family home near the beach. They enjoyed this immensely in their senior years. Bob was an avid boating enthusiast, owning and maintaining multiple wooden boats, either motor or sail powered. The family was always engaged willingly or not on Bob’s various boat adventures about Barnegat Bay and surrounding waters. Bob loved animals, and their collies always traveled with them wherever they went.
In his later years, family health and care became a great focus. Bob was a loving, caring man, with a personality that was bigger than life itself. All who met him enjoyed his wit, intelligence, and inventiveness.
Bob is survived by his children, Nancy Smith and her husband Tony; and Robert Benn and his wife, Maria. Bob is also survived by his grandchildren, Robert III, Maren, Douglas and his wife Amanda, Jason and his wife Sarah, and Christie and her husband Matt. Additionally, he is survived by his great-grandchildren, Aubrey, Cole, Grace and Lily.
In addition to his parents and his wife, Gladys, Bob was predeceased by his beautiful daughter, Elizabeth Jane Benn.
Funeral services will take place privately. Contributions in Bob’s memory may be made to RVNA Health and Hospice – 27 Governor Street; Ridgefield, CT 06877, http://www.rvnahealth.org. Kane Funeral Home is in care of arrangements.