MESA, Ariz. — Robert Monroe Benton, age 41, died unexpectedly Tuesday, March 5, 2013, at his home in Mesa, Ariz. Robert was the son of Robert and Karen (Amidon) Benton, born May 30, 1971, in Traverse City.
Robert was a gifted artist and writer, a charmer, a sensitive and adventurous soul.
He graduated early from Manton High School in January of 1989 to enlist in the U.S. Army. After Basic Training he went on to complete Basic Airborne Training and then entered the Ranger Program. He was part of the Ft. Lewis, Wash., group involved in the invasion of Panama in December of 1989, for which he received a Parachutist Badge w/Bronze Star, the design of his first tattoo.
After his service time, Robert worked a wide variety of jobs, living in at least four different states and finally settling in Traverse City in 2002.
He completed his college studies, receiving his associate’s degree from Northwestern Michigan College in August 2011.
He then moved to Mesa, Ariz., where within 30 days of his arrival got his “dream job” with Sonic Wall.
Robert was preceded in death by both sets of grandparents, Robert and Wilma Benton and Darrel and Esther Amidon; an uncle, Charles Amidon; and his best friend and partner, Colbe Probst.
Robert leaves behind his mother, Karen Amidon, of Traverse City; his father, Robert (Shirley) Benton, of Buckley; his two brothers, James (Ray Nixon) Mariage, of Mesa, Ariz., and Michael Mariage, of Wyoming, Mich.; a sister, Leslie Benton, of Traverse City; and many aunts, uncles, cousins, friends and his little cat, “Baby.”
A visitation will be held at Wolfe-O’Neill Funeral Home in Kalkaska on Friday, March 15, 2013, from 2 to 4 p.m. Interment will be at Clearwater Township Cemetery later in the spring.
Memorial contributions may be directed to R.E.S.C.U.E. of Arizona, www.azrescue.org or the animal rescue of your choice.
Condolences may be left online at www.wolfeoneill.com.
Arrangements were made by Wolfe-O’Neill Funeral Home, our family serving yours.