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11/21/08 - NNHS Newsletter - Julius Benton

Julius Daniel Benton
(01 July 1940 - 20 Nov 2008)

Newport News High School Class of 1958

Dear Friends and Schoolmates,   
We have yet another sad edition of the NNHS Newsletter this morning. 
     Julius Benton, Class of 1958, husband of    Renee Helterbran Benton ('59) of VA, passed away on Thursday, November 20, 2008 after a long battle with Pick's Disease.

  From Renee Helterbran Benton ('59) of VA - 07/18/08 - "Note to     Norm Covert":

Thank you so much for keeping     Julius (Benton - '58 - of VA) in your prayers; he needs prayers now more than ever.  On July 11, I was notified that he had been rushed to the ER with a deep open gash at the bottom of his spine.  How this injury could possibly have occurred at the nursing home we'll probably never know.  The gash required 5 stitches and is located in a very precarious location, as you can imagine.  I was told by his physician that it will be very difficult to heal and will require a great deal of tender care by the nursing staff. 
We are optimistic because Julius has beat all the odds thus far, including coming back from pneumonia last fall.  His spirits and strong well and a lot of prayer are what pulled him through.  We noticed he seemed to really rally after being able to come home with the family overnight on Christmas Eve.  With that in mind, we are planning Christmas in August to revive his spirits after this ordeal.  We already have the Christmas tree up!
Thanks again, Norm

  From Renee Helterbran Benton ('59) of VA - 11/20/08, 1:23 PM:

Just wanted to let you know that Julius passed away this morning from Pick's disease.  Since we are donating his brain to Pick's research, funeral arrangements are pending until after his brain has been harvested today.

   Oh, Renee, I'm so sorry to hear this, but thank you for letting us know.  You and your daughters have my deepest sympathy.

  From Renee Helterbran Benton ('59) of VA - 11/20/08, 8:02 PM:

The following arrangements have been made for Julius, which will appear in Saturday's Daily Press:
Visitation will be held Saturday, November 22, from 6-7 p.m. at the W. J. Smith Funeral Home, 210 Harpersville Road, Newport News, (757-596-6911). 
Funeral service will be at 2 p.m. on Sunday in Union Baptist Church, Hayes (Gloucester), VA, (804) 642-2332).
 9254 Guinea Road
Hayes, Virginia 23072
Burial in Parklawn Memorial Park, 2551 North Armistead Avenue, Hampton, VA, on Monday, November 24. at 10 a.m.
   Thank you again, Renee.

  From Al Simms ('60) of VA - 11/20/08:

I am so sorry to hear this. 
  Julius, Durwood Adams and    Chuck Anspach ('60 - of NC) were the three guys that I remember who could really make a trumpet sing while I struggled along with mine just trying to not mess up the music for everyone.  Julius's fingers just seemed to glide on the keys.  I know that you will miss him and know that a lot of people are thinking not only about him but also about you.

Al Simms

   Thank you, Al.

From the Daily Press - 11/22/08:

                Julius Daniel Benton
  BENA - Julius Daniel Benton Jr., 68, passed away at 1:23 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 20, 2008, after a long battle with Pick's Disease.

He was born July 1, 1940, to Julius Daniel Benton Sr. and Mary Edna Knowles Benton in Rose Hill, N.C.

He was a graduate of Newport News High School and the Newport News Shipyard Apprentice School. He worked 18 years as a Designer in the Hull Drawing Room of the Newport News Shipyard, after which he was employed as a Senior Designer for M. Rosenblatt & Son, Arlington, Va., until his retirement in 1997. He was a member and Deacon of First Baptist Church in Newport News, and later a member of Union Baptist Church in Achilles, and a member of Poquoson Baptist Church in Poquoson. He was also a member of the Union Baptist Church choir and frequently played his trumpet during services.
Julius Daniel Benton

Julius taught himself to play the trumpet at a young age and excelled at it throughout his lifetime. He played in the high school bands and was voted Most Talented in his Senior Class. He continued his trumpet playing after completing his education, performing with the bands of Tommy Phelps, Kendall Parker, and Jett Rollo at various clubs throughout the area. One of the joys of his life was becoming friends with legendary jazz trumpeter, Maynard Ferguson. Any time he attended one of Maynard's performances, Maynard always introduced him to the audience as 'my favorite ship designer'. When Julius became ill and Maynard was performing in Virginia Beach, he was invited to his own private concert by Maynard and his band.

Travel was one of Julius' great loves, especially in his motor home. He served as National Treasurer of Bounders of America for over six years. He was also President of the Piedmont Area Bounders Chapter.
He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Renee Helterbran Benton; daughters, Sherri Jeyne Benton Clark and husband, B.J., of Stafford and Ware Neck, Kristi Lynn Benton of Stafford, and Julie Ann Benton of Virginia Beach; granddaughters, Kendall Sheridan Hargis and Kayla Diane Clark; and many nieces and nephews.
The family will receive friends from 6 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 22, at the W. J. Smith & Son Funeral Home, 210 Harpersville Road, Newport News. A celebration of life service will be conducted at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 23, at Union Baptist Church, Achilles, by Pastor John Pouchot of Poquoson Baptist Church and Pastor Clint Shondelmyer of Immanuel Bible Church. Special music will be provided by D.C. Washington, Meribeth Puckett, and Sarah and Chris Layman of Immanuel Bible Church, Springfield, VA. Friends and family are asked to share fellowship in the social hall at Union Baptist Church following the service. Interment will be at 10 a.m. Monday, Nov. 24, in Parklawn Memorial Park, Hampton.

Julius' brain has been donated to the National Institutes of Health for Pick's Disease research; hopefully, he will play a part in finding a cure for Pick's Disease. The family would like to extend deep gratitude to the staffs of The Orchard and Riverside Hospice in Warsaw, Va., for the kind and loving care they provided him during the last 6-1/2 years of his life.

Arrangements by W. J. Smith & Son Funeral Home. View and post condolences on our online guestbook at

Published in the Daily Press on 11/22/2008.
Guest Book

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Dear Renee and Family, I am so sorry to hear of your loss. You are in my thoughts and prayers at this very sad time.
Brownie Shaffer Haracivet, Gloucester, Virginia

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Renee, I am so sorry to hear about Julius. From what little I know of this disease, he must have waged an incredible war to live. You are in my prayers as I know this has been such a struggle for you and your family.
Jane Monfalcone Simmons

Jane Simmons, Dahlonega, Georgia Contact Me

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Dear Renee and Family
Joe and I were so sorry to hear about Julius. He did put up a courageous battle with such an insidious disease. Hopefully a cure will be found soon. I know you all miss him terribly. Joe and I will see you tomorrow.
Love to you all - Lynn and Joe Hickman
Lynn Hickman, Suffolk, Virginia

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Renee and family, you probably won't remember me, but I am Dale and Morris built your house in Bena. I am extremely sorry for your loss. I wasn't aware that Julius was having problems until B J told me. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
Dale Davis, Mathews, Virginia

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Dear Renee. We were sorry to learn that Julius has passed on. He put up a long hard fight and we know you will miss him. May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow. We will see you at the funeral home this evening.
Leon & Marie Bailey
Leon Bailey, Virginia Beach, Virginia


   Once again, our sincerest condolences are extended to Renee and the entire Benton family at this time.

   This information is also posted here:

  From Bill Prillaman ('60) of VA - 12/09/08 - "Julius Benton":

Please pass on to    Renee (Helterbran) Benton ('59 - of VA) and her family, my  condolences on the loss of her husband, Julius.
I remember many times listening to his great talent on the trumpet and marveling at his solos while I tried to keep up with my trombone in the background. 
Please know that my prayers are with the family for God's love and comfort at this sad time. 
Bill Prillaman (NNHS 60)

    Thank you, Bill! Julius' trumpet solos were nothing short of phenomenal! I forwarded your note to Renee.

  From Renee Helterbran Benton ('59) of VA - 12/09/08:

Hi, Bill
I remember you well.  Thank you so much for your message. It really helps that you and so many others have such fond memories of Julius. 

    Thank you, Renee! That is a comfort, isn't it?

   Y'all take good care of each other!  TYPHOONS FOREVER!  We'll Always Have Buckroe!

                          Love to all, Carol





Carol Buckley Harty
219 Four Ply Lane
Fayetteville, NC 29311-9305

Be Still, My Soul

Words by Katharina von Schlegel, b. 1697,
Translated by Jane Borthwick (1813 - 1897);
Music by Jean Sibelius (1865-1957)

Be still, my soul: The Lord is on thy side;
With patience bear thy cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In ev'ry change, He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: Thy best, thy heav'nly Friend
Thru thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

Be still, my soul: Thy God doth undertake
To guide the future as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still my soul: The waves and winds still know
His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below.

Be still, my soul: The hour is hast'ning on
When we shall be forever with the Lord,
When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love's purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: When change and tears are past,
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

"Be Still, My Soul" midi sequenced by my then 18 year old #6 son, Dale Harty - 04/16/02
Thanks, Dale!

"Be Still, My Soul" lyrics transcribed by Carol Buckley Harty ('65) - 04/16/02

Greg Olsen Paintings courtesy of 01/27/05

Blackwork Flowers Divider Line clip art courtesy of - 08/12/04

Army Seal clip art courtesy of Al Farber ('64) of GA - 05/24/06
Thanks, Al!

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