EDWARD BENKO March 11, 1929 ~ October 11, 2016 "Ed was dearly loved and will be tremendously missed by his family and friends." Edward Benko went home to be with Jesus on October 11, 2016, while listening to one of his favorite hymns, "Beautiful Savior." He was born on March 11, 1929, in Lakewood, OH, the fourth of five children born to Slovakian, immigrant parents. Ed lived in Ohio all of his youth. He attended Liverpool High School in Valley City, where he was the All County basketball star. Academically he was a bright student and loved math, engineering, and art. Ed received a scholarship and attended Fenn College in Ohio. During this time, he worked for NACA (today known as NASA). He also enlisted and served in the Navy from 1954-1979. Ed retired as a Commander and Navy pilot. Ed simultaneously pursued his aeronautic passion and was employed at Boeing in Everett, WA from 1962-1993. Ed was married to Marlene Amenhauser in 1954, and they had two children, Lisa Marie and David Alan. They were married for 25 years and lived most of this time in Kirkland, WA. They had a full life and enjoyed gardening, serving their church, and collecting. Lisa and her husband, Chris Burns, have twin daughters: Olivia and Eva Maria (Bellevue, WA). David and his wife, Kirsten, have three boys: Nicholas, Simon, and Donovan (Vancouver, WA). They enjoyed spending time with Ed and sharing his love for learning, collecting, music, and art. Ed was loved by his family and had many talents and skills that he passed along to his children and grandchildren. In 1996, Ed married Bette Mack from Valley City, OH, whom he had known since childhood. They enjoyed traveling both domestically and abroad. Bette has two children, Gretchen and Greg, who live in Ohio. Her daughter, Gretchen, and husband, Jim Checkelski, have three boys: Drew, Brett, and Ben. Her son Greg, and wife Sydney, have two daughters: Lauren and Jennifer. Ed continued to enjoy the last few years of his life in Vancouver, WA. He moved to Vancouver in 2010 and spent the last two years (2014-16) living amongst the caring and loving staff at the Hampton Memory Care, after being diagnosed with Alzheimer's. Despite this disease, Ed brought joy to those around him whistling, singing, sharing new and unknown bits of his life, and helping with small tasks. Evergreen Memorial handled all of the arrangements. His burial will be at Tahoma National Cemetery, outside of Kent, WA, on Friday, October 21st at 11:30a.m. Following will be a memorial reception for family and friends at Pilgrim Lutheran Church in Bellevue, WA at 2:30p.m. Please sign his guest book at: www.columbian.com/obits .
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