BANGOR - Reverend Howard E. Benson passed peacefully at home May 1, 2013, surrounded by the love of his family. He was born Nov. 2, 1920, in Sidney, the only son of Harold and Ella Benson.

After graduation from Oakland High School he enrolled at Gorham Normal, University of Southern Maine, and graduated in 1942. He was called into active duty with the U.S. Army Air Corps. After basic training he graduated from the air corps technical school as an airplane mechanic. In World War II he spent 31 months in the South Pacific, 18 month in Australia and 13 months in the Philippines as a chaplains assistant. Honorably discharged Jan. 2, 1946, he enrolled at Colby College, Waterville, and graduated in 1950 with a major in philosophy and religion. He received a full time appointment from United Methodist Church to Randolph and East Pittston churches. While pasturing these churches he enrolled at Boston University School of Theology and graduated in 1955 with a sacred theology degree. He was ordained by Bishop John Wesley Lord and received his Elders Orders from United Methodist Church May 27, 1956. His ministry has included the following churches; part time supply work at Oakland-Sidney, Dexter-Ripley and the Congregational Church in Vassalboro. Full time work at Randolph-East Pittston, Dexter-Ripley, Kittery and Old Town-Stillwater. In 1976 he was appointed district superintendent of the northern district of the Maine Conference and served in that capacity until 1982. Rev. Benson was then appointed to First United Methodist Church, Brewer, and served there until his official retirement in 1988. After retirement he served part time appointments in Dixmont, Troy, Corinna, Hartland, Camden, Cushing, Rockland and First United Methodist Church of Bangor. During his ministry he, along with his church families, dedicated and presented to the conference two new church buildings. One in Old Town and the other in Rockland. This commitment of many people and God's kingdom continues to grown in these places. Rev. Benson was a member of the Masons having membership in the Aurora lodge of Rockland and the Scottish Rite Bodies in the Valley of Rockland.

Rev. Benson was predeceased by his first wife, Esther J. Christensen; and four sisters, Catherine, Ruth, Grace and Christine; and daughter-in-law, Katherine Benson. He is survived by Eva, his devoted wife of 58 years who he loved dearly; son, David of Hampden, the only child of his first wife, and his friend, Annamarie Parsons; daughter, Kathy and spouse, Donna, of Bangor; daughter, Karen and husband, Ed Delaware; and son, Timothy of Milford. He will also be dearly missed by his grandchildren; Maggie and Anthony Benson and Emma, Erica, Elizabeth and Erin Snape. The family wishes to thank the staffs at St. Joseph Hospital, Eastern Maine Medical Center, Cancer Care of Maine, Hospice of Eastern Maine, and Dr. Adam Lauer and his staff for all of their wonderful care Howard has received.

A service of Christian worship and celebration of life for the Reverend Howard E. Benson will be held 10 a.m. May 10, at First United Methodist Church, Old Town. After the service all are invited to a time of sharing and refreshments. Those who wish to remember Reverend Benson in a special way may donate to United Methodist Committee on Relief, P.O. Box 9068, New York, NY 10087 or Eastern Area Agency on Aging's, Meals on Wheels, 450 Essex St., Bangor, ME 04401. If Howard has touched your life please carry that feeling forward through an act of understanding and kindness today. His life is a living testament that the love of God can work through all of us. A service of Brookings-Smith, Bangor. Condolences to the family may be expressed at

Published in BDN Maine on May 4, 2013