James  Benham (November 03, 1938 - October 06, 2023)

In loving memory of
James Benham
  • November 03, 1938
  • -
  • October 06, 2023

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In Loving Memory of James Edward Benham

11/3/1938 – 10/6/2023

With heavy hearts, we announce the passing of James Edward Benham, a steadfast pillar of love, faith, and service. James was born to Evelyn Bissel Benham and Oliver Benham on November 3, 1938, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is preceded in death by his wife, Phyllis Blevins Benham, and his parents and siblings, Vera Golembieski, Jean Hall, Oliver (Bud) Benham, and Richard Benham.

James’ unwavering love was evident in his 63-year marriage to Phyllis and the beautiful family they nurtured. A dedicated father to Theresa Benham, Catherine Chase, Beth Benham, and Margaret Kennedy (Robert), he enveloped his children in love, guiding them with wisdom throughout their lives.

His role as a grandfather and a ‘Great Papa’ brought new dimensions of joy to his life, shepherding the paths of Tanika, Ervin, Timothy, Caitlin, Siobahn, Bridget, James, and Robert. He delighted with the sparkling eyes of each new great-grandchild: Logan, Laikan, Lucille, Clara, Charlotte, Isabelle, Juliette, Casey, Carter, Phoebe, Elias, Luca, Sydney, Lewis, Elena, and Abigail.

His life was a testament to service and faith, with honor-filled years in the U.S. Marine Corps and a distinguished law enforcement and government service career. Jim’s law enforcement career began with the Kenosha Police Department; he then had a 30+ year career in federal law enforcement with the U.S. Treasury Department. Highlights included serving as one of the first sky marshals and an Associate Criminal Justice Professor at Illinois Valley Community College.

An active volunteer, Jim was a member of the Ottawa Noon Rotary. He served in various roles at Saint John XXII Catholic Church and the Knights of Columbus. His devotion extended beyond duty to an unwavering service to God, Country, and family, embedding a legacy of unshakeable values.

In remembrance of James, a memorial service will be held on Thursday, October 19, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. at Saint John XXIII Catholic Church, 13060 Palomino Lane, Fort Myers, FL 33912.

James’s physical presence will be sorely missed, yet his spirit and teachings live on in the lives and hearts of those he touched. His legacy, carved from duty, faith, and boundless love, will continue illuminating our paths.

Rest in peace, Dad, and may your soul join the saints in heaven, basking in eternal peace and divine love.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be generously directed in James’s memory to:

Verity Pregnancy and Medical Resource Center Donations can be made on their website https://veritypmc.com or mailed to Verity, 8890 Salrose Lane, Ste. 4, Fort Myers, FL 33912.

EWTN Global Catholic Network: A network dedicated to teaching the tenets of the Catholic faith; donations can be made through their website (www.ewtn.com) or mailed to EWTN, 5817 Old Leeds Road, Irondale, AL 35210.


Saint John XXIII Catholic Church
13060 Palomino Lane, Fort Myers, FL 33912
Get Driving Directions

Date & Time:
October 19, 2023 at 10:00 AM

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  1. Monica Benham Vannella says:
    14 Oct 2023
    Our family is blessed to have been in the presence of a truly great man. Uncle Jim spent a life of service and leadership, setting a brilliant example for all of his kin.
    He was always devoted to his girls and especially Aunt Phyllis.
    I know heaven is greater with Uncle Jim in the arms of the Lord.
    May my cousins find comfort and closure in the warmth and memories surrounded by friends and family.
    With love
    Monica Benham Vannella

  2. Marie Benham says:
    13 Oct 2023
    Prayers for the family of Jim Benham. May all be comforted by peace and love for him and all his family. God bless all...

  3. Marie Benham lit a candle:
    13 Oct 2023
    Lit since October 13, 2023 at 10:52:57 PM

  4. Richard Baxter lit a candle:
    12 Oct 2023
    Lit since October 12, 2023 at 10:14:26 PM

  5. Adrienne Harker lit a candle:
    12 Oct 2023
    Lit since October 12, 2023 at 10:02:38 PM

  6. Ben Redmond says:
    11 Oct 2023
    I spent time with Jim while he was in Washington D.C. and Chicago. During these meetings we both tried to solve any issues facing the Internal Security division and enjoyed ourselves during some of these late-night discussions. Many years later,in 1994, Jim and I joined with 12 other retirees which formed the nucleus of the Inspection retiree Association. He was a great guy who was dedicated to his wonderful family and the mission and staff of the Inspection service.
    We tried to keep in touch over the years and I will remember him with all good memories.

    Ben Redmond, former Regional Inspector, Philadelphia

  7. Lynne Viti says:
    11 Oct 2023
    I worked with Jim at 12th and E Sts in DC for several years. He was quite the motivator. He would yell, "It's been xx days since our last arrest! Get out there and close some cases!" I remember him fondly. My deepest condolences to his family.

  8. Bob Faber says:
    11 Oct 2023
    What a surprise to hear this about Jim. I used to bowl on a team with him in Kansas City and he was a very good teammate and also a very good bowler. I really enjoyed being around him. Last time I saw him was at a casino table in Las Vegas. He will be missed.

  9. Thomas Benham lit a candle:
    10 Oct 2023
    Lit since October 10, 2023 at 10:53:57 PM

  10. Thomas Benham says:
    10 Oct 2023
    Be blessed for death is yet a doorway, you shall meet again..
    Thank you Uncle Jim for all the fun when we were able to get together..and your little dog to !!

  11. Steve Eagan says:
    10 Oct 2023
    May he rest in peace ❤️
    So enjoyed meeting your Dad, and spending time with him and your Mom. I think of them often.
    My love to all of you, during your time of grief. They loved you all, so much ❤️

  12. Gail Hartsoe says:
    10 Oct 2023
    Beth and famil, I am so sorry for your loss. I know he will be greatly missed. Sending hugs and prayers to the family. ♥️

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