Thomas Earle Benson

Thomas's Story

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Bangor - Thomas 'Tom' Earle Benson, husband of the late M. Marteile 'Teile' Benson passed away peacefully with his loving family by his side on November 13, 2016. Tom was born on November 30, 1924, in Winthrop, Massachusetts, son of John and Beatrice (Palliser) Benson.
While growing up, Tom spent many summers working at Bensons Wild Animal farm in Hudson N.H for his Uncle John. The time he spent there was always very dear to his heart. Tom was also a Sea Scout as a child and enjoyed the sea where he spent hours in his boat with his dog for many summers.
Tom grew up in Winthrop and after graduation from High school, Tom trained and served in the United States Air force. While in the Air force he was one of three top corporals/students chosen to go onto photo school at Lowry field in Colorado where Tom learned how to make maps called controlled mosaics. After photo school Tom was in the Infantry as a staff signal core and was stationed in Hawaii until WWII was over.
When Tom returned from the military in 1946, he opened the Art Center Photo Studio which was in the center of Winthrop .Soon after, he met the love of his life Teile at a dance in Boston. After Teile graduated from nursing school Tom and Teile were married at St Michael's Episcopal Church on June 5, 1948.
Tom worked for many finance companies. His first position was at House Hold Finance in Lewiston, Maine. After Tom and his family moved to Hartford, Connecticut, he worked for Merchant Acceptance Corp. (MAC). In 1955 Tom's family was transferred to Bangor, Maine. A few years later he began working for Better Homes. Tom worked from 1968 to 1976 for Viner Music Company. In 1976 Tom opened his own print shop PDQ Printing and also did wedding photography.
Tom enjoyed volunteering in the Bangor area. Tom served on the Bangor Jaycee Board, was a member of The Bangor Rotary Club and was a charter member of the Bangor Kiwanis Club, serving as one of its first presidents. He served on the Chaplains advisory board at EMMC for over 23 years and also served on the advisory board of Bangor City Nursing Facility for 9 years. In 1981, Tom and his wife Teile, along with many other wonderful people, established the first Community Hospice in Bangor named C.O.P.E.S . (Community of People Extending Support). In 1984 the program became affiliated with EMMC and is now Hospice of Eastern Maine. Tom was an active member of St John's Episcopal Church for over fifty years serving on many committees: usher, greeter, and lay reader, before becoming a deacon. Tom received one of the 35 Maine Healthcare Alliance (MHCA) Remember ME 2016 Lifetime Achievement Recipients Award in April 2016.
On June 3, 1978, Tom was ordained as a Deacon. He worked under Rev. John Miller and read for orders under John Zimmerman in the evenings up until the ordination. Tom was an Episcopal Chaplain for the Diocese of Maine at local Bangor hospitals, nursing homes, and to the home bound. In 1995 Tom began working as a part time Chaplin at Eastern Maine Medical Center. Tom had a special gift with his patients and their families and the staff. He was a very comforting and compassionate man. In 1998 Tom was appointed Archdeacon for Pastoral Care, assisting in ministering to the pastoral needs of the community of Deacons as well as those in the ordination process in Maine.
Tom and Teile went on an eight week cross country trip after his wife Teile retired from EMMC. Visiting different parts of our country was very special to them both. Tom loved his family time whether it was taking pictures, working on the gardens together, an indoor project, going to the beach club at Lucerne and taking a ride in his motor boat around the lake. Tom enjoyed Saturday Nighters with his wife and friends. Tom enjoyed many family celebrations. One of Tom's favorites was when Tom, Teile, Ann, Meredith, Debbi, and Greg went to Nova Scotia and Cape Breton Island after their surprise 50th wedding anniversary celebration.
Tom is survived by his daughter, Ann Benson and her wife, Meredith Allbright of Bangor; his daughter­ in-law, Debbi Van Arsdale and her husband, Steve of Delaware, Ohio, and his "granddaughter" Kimberly Byers of Laurel, Maryland. Tom was predeceased by his parents, sister Martha Coville, sister Lorraine Smith, and son Gregory Benson.
Our family would like to thank all of our friends and family for their love and support during our Dad's long and courageous illness along with Dad's beautiful friend and Family Nurse Practitioner Adrienne Ewer. We also want to extend our gratitude to Hospice of Eastern Maine for their compassion and kindness and to Stillwater Health Care for being a very important extended family to our Dad for almost two years. God bless all of his workers and friends.
A funeral service will be held 3:00 p.m., Saturday, November 19, 2016, at St. John's Episcopal Church, 225 French Street, Bangor, with the Rt. Rev. Stephen T. Lane, The Bishop of Maine.presiding.
Those who wish to remember Tom in a special way may make gifts in his memory to St. John's Episcopal Church, 234 French Street., Bangor Maine 04401. Condolences to the family may be expressed at www.BrookingsSmith.com.
Published on  November 16, 2016
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