Rick Benson, 70, passed away Saturday, July 13, 2019 in Galveston at Jennie Sealy Hospital with his “Susie Q” by his side.
Rick enjoyed life to the fullest. He lived a faithful life in his call to ministry as an Episcopal Priest in the Diocese of Texas. He was born on November 11, 1948 at the Balboa Naval Hospital in San Diego. His birthdate is celebrated not only as Veteran’s Day, but is also known as the Feast Day of Saint Martin of Tours; the patron saint of soldiers and conscientious objectors. He lived that truth as Priest, Warrior, Poet.
He graduated from Kearny High School of San Diego in 1966. In the summer of 1969, he volunteered for the U.S. Army and was stationed at a busy evac hospital –the US 3rd Surgical Hospital in Dong Tam, Mekong Delta region of South Vietnam. He worked alongside the surgeons as a surgical tech, doing a lot of the work that was generally reserved for assistant surgeons. After he finished his tour of duty in July 1970, he returned to assignment at Ft. Sam Houston in the MFSS as medical support personnel for Vietnam. After discharge from the army he was hired at Baptist Southeast Medical Center in San Antonio.
Rick graduated from the University of Incarnate Word majoring in Psychology and Religious Studies in 1976. Later that year he was hired by the Department of Health and Human Resources as a caseworker for Aid to Families with Dependent Children. In 1977 he was hired by Child Protective Services as achild welfare caseworker handling a caseload of abused & neglected children.
In 1980 He and his family moved to Sewanee, Tennessee, where he completed his (Masters in Divinity) at the University of the South.
On his return to Texas, Rick served as rector at St. James Episcopal Church in Hallettesville in 1983-1984. He was the city campus chaplain with the Episcopal student ministry in San Antonio UTSA and Trinity University and was the chaplain at San Antonio College. He frequently reminisced about his love serving in San Antonio. From the summer of 1988-October 1990 he served as Assistant Rector at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Beaumont and campus chaplain for Lamar University.
He was called to be the Rector of Grace Church in Galveston and served from 1990 until the fall of 2002.
Rick then went to St. Luke’s Hospital and was part of the Chaplaincy staff from 2002-2003. During that time he became Rector of St. Mark’s Rosenberg in 2003-2009 where he was responsible in making a major move for St. Mark’s to the Richmond/Rosenberg area.
During the period of 2002-2003 Rick also enrolled in the PHD program for the School of Humanities at UTMB Galveston. This experience made him want to follow his passion in writing. He retired in 2009 to spend the next 10 years not only to be active in supply for the entire Diocese of Texas but served as interim rector for St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in La Marque. Rick completed his ministry on earth with an abundance of love in serving Grace Church Alvin and mentoring Rev. Suzanne Smith, “His Priest”.
In retirement, Rick & Susie traveled as much of the world as possible together and with dear friends. They were always looking for the next adventure. Most recently they completed a cherished trip to Italy with their three oldest grandchildren to celebrate their recent accomplishments.
Rick was generous with his time and served faithfully with the Board of Protective Services of Galveston, Partnership for a Greater Galveston, St. Vincent’s House and most recently Moody Gardens as a volunteer diver.
Rick was an avid sportsman of the water which started when his family was transferred to Guam. From there he developed a love of the ocean. He loved surfing, windsurfing, stand up paddling, kayaking, swimming, snorkeling and finished with his passion of scuba diving. He also loved music and writing and published “The Blood Red Way” and was in process of gathering his poetry, which will be posthumously published.
Rick loved life & he loved his Lord. He was a man of God, “perfectly imperfect”. He understood God wants more for us than we can ever ask or imagine and that sometimes God’s gracious “No” though seemingly painful, is His gift to each of us.
Rick was preceded in death by his beloved mother Betty Gale Benson and his adoptive father Jack Benson, his beloved father Ivan Christopherson and brothers Terry Benson and Robert Benson.
Left to cherish his memory is his loving and faithful wife Susan. His beloved children Leah Benson (Kore), Kristopher Benson (Karla), Erik Benson (Emily) and Genevieve Benson (Brad). His precious & treasured grandchildren Elizabeth Benson, Charlie Benson, Henry Benson, Paloma Walker, Sage Walker, Hadley Walker, brothers and sisters, Jack Benson(Crystal), Scott Benson(Ronda), Mona Benson, Shelley Farrell (Rob) and Michael Benson (Melissa), Susan’s son Sean Walker, step-mother Barbara Christopherson, sister-in-law Rose Benson, Aunts, numerous nieces and nephews & cousins, many dear friends and parishioners and his loving Grace Episcopal Alvin Congregation who lovingly held him in prayer throughout and his companions Koda & Belle.
Services will be held at Grace Episcopal Church of Alvin, 200 West Lang Street, Alvin, Texas 77511 on Thursday, August 8, 2019 at 10:30 A.M., with Reverend Suzanne Smith officiating. A reception will be held afterwards in the Parish Hall.
Memorial donations may be made to Grace Episcopal Church of Alvin, 200 West Lang Street, Alvin, Texas 77511 or Artist Boat, P.O. Box 16019, Galveston, Texas 77552 or the organization of one’s choice.
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free….” Galatians 5:1
Grace Episcopal Church of Alvin
200 West Lang Street, Alvin TX 77511
P. O. Box 16019, Galveston TX 77552