Ernest Benson Obituary

Ernest Charles Benson
Ernest Charles Benson

October 11, 1955 - February 7, 2020
Born in Sitka, Alaska
Resided in Eagle River, Alaska


Ernest Charles Benson, "Chuck," of Eagle River, Alaska, suffered a sudden heart attack and died on Feb. 7, 2020, at the Alaska Regional Hospital in Anchorage with his family at his side. Chuck was born in Sitka on Oct. 11, 1955, at Mt. Edgecumbe. He was Raven, T´akdeintaan, from the Tax' Hít (Snail House).

His family describes Chuck as the "rock" of the family; a loving and fiercely devoted father to his five children, Kiatcha Palmer of Eagle River, Ryan Benson of Nome, Charles Benson of Eagle River, Kahtayaa "Katie" Benson of Anchorage and Mara Patterson of Haines; and his seven grandchildren, Damien Derry, Natalia Benson, Ellis Benson, Raven Pangawyi and Kyran, Nathan and Isabelle Sweet. He took great pride in organizing holiday family gatherings, cooking and bringing everyone together. Throughout his life he was especially close to his sister, Diane Benson of Chugiak/Petersburg.

In his life he worked in Valdez during the trans-Alaska pipeline construction as an electrician; fulfilled his duties as a medical lab technician in the National Guard; and retired from over 30 years of service to the Federation Aviation Administration as a highly skilled radar and air traffic control electronics technician. He worked from Cold Bay and then Cordova at the time of the Exxon-Valdez oil spill, before settling in Eagle River, where he ultimately raised his children. He thoroughly enjoyed books and was a voracious reader of history, science and current affairs, and also enjoyed running, hiking, chess, fishing and traveling. He fulfilled a lifelong dream with two trips to Europe.

Chuck was preceded in death by his father, Ernest H. Benson; his mother, Eleanor (Williams) Thomas; uncles, Jim, Richard, George and Eugene Williams, and Clarence, Wilfred and George Dick; aunts, Sylvia Carlsson and Juanita Sanborn; and by his nephew, Peter Williams.

Chuck is survived by his sister, Diane; and brothers, Dennis Benson, Dale Williams of Sitka, Clifford of California, and Jeffrey Thomas of Nevada; and aunt, Marta Ryman of Sitka. He is also survived by nieces and nephews, Latseen Benson, Anouk and Ian Benson, Eric Thomas, Paul and Lucas Williams; many cousins including, Marta Coleman and Chastity Dovell of Anchorage, and Karen Dick of Everett, Wash.; many other extended family members; and half-sister Sherry Wilhoyte in Anaheim, Calif.

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