Bernard Slonina

March 25, 1916December 1, 2012

On December 1, 2012 Benny Slonina rejoined his parents, brothers, and friends from the Greatest Generation. He was born March 25, 1916 in Yonkers, NY and the family later settled in Middleport, PA. Benny joined the Army Air Corps February 1936 at Langley Field, VA. He was a member of the 40th Bomb Group. In the early years of WWII, they flew submarine patrol in Central America. In 1943, the Group came to Pratt, KS to make the B-29 combat-ready. While there he married Virginia McDaniel. In February 1944, the Group went to India where they flew the Hump (CBI) transporting bombs and fuel into China. They then went to Tinian until the end of the war. Benny remained in what was by then the U.S. Air Force. He then served in Korea and retired in 1958. He received many citations and medals, including the Bronze Star with 3 Oak leaf clusters and the Air Medal. In 1958, he went to NASA and worked in the Full-Scale Tunnel, retiring in 1972. He then worked at the Poquoson Elementary School until 1986.

Benny was preceded in death by his great-granddaughter, Lillian Trippe. He is survived by his wife of 69 years, Virginia; daughters, Barbara Trippe and Mary Page; six grandchildren, Aaron Trippe and wife Kristen, Devin Trippe, Jeffrey and Christopher Steckroth, Wendy Shannon and Kayla Page; great-granddaughter, Marleigh Shannon; and brother, Louis Slonina of Pottsville, PA

The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 pm, Monday, December 3, 2012 at Parklawn-Wood Funeral Home. A Memorial Service will be held at Bethel Manor Chapel at 11:00 am on Tuesday, December 4, followed by a private burial.

In lieu of flowers, please direct memorial contributions to the SPCA, 523 J. Clyde Morris Boulevard, Newport News, VA 23601 or The Alzheimer's Foundation, 6350 Center Drive, Suite 102, Norfolk, VA 23502.

Arrangements are under the care of Parklawn-Wood Funeral Home, 2551 N. Armistead Avenue, Hampton, VA 23666.

Friends are encouraged to visit to share memories and words of condolence with the family.


  • Visitation Monday, December 3, 2012
  • Celebration of Life Service Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Bernard Slonina

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Ray & Barbara Coffield

December 8, 2012

Benny will be greatly missed dearly by all who knew him. He and I were close friends. We chopped and stacked many piles of wood for the winter each year. He was a great story teller,I used to listen to him tell stories for hours on end. Rest in peace my friend!! Our condolences and sympathy to all his family and what a wonderful legacy he leaves to each one of you. May God Bless you.

Elizabeth Dixon Holt

December 5, 2012

Mr. Benny was a nice person,always enjoyed seeing him at the mailbox. May you find strength, peace, and comfort in your memories. With Deepest Sympathy, Elizabeth Dixon Holt

Harry (Benny) Topping,

December 4, 2012

In January 1963 I began my first day working at NASA and was sent to the Full Scale Tunnel. My supervisor asked me what people called me and I told him everyone called me Benny. He said, “That would never do we already have one; what's your full name?” I told him my first name was Harry then he carried me around to meet everyone and of course I met Benny Slonina and was assigned to work with him for several months: I was told to pay attention and maybe I would learn something, and learn I did! That day began a long relationship as friends. Benny truly exemplified in all he did deserving to be called one of the Greatest Generation. My condolences and sympathy to all his family and what a wonderful legacy he leaves to each one of you. May God Bless you.
Harry (Benny) Topping, Midlothian, VA

Marie Watkins Hamann

December 4, 2012

Barbara and Mary...I am so so sorry to hear about your father passing away...may you both cherish your precious memories and find comfort in them...blessings to you both...May God be with you and your family...much love...

Sue Grafton

December 4, 2012

It was my pleasure to work with Benny about 10 years at NASA and I enjoyed every minute of it. He was always willing to help me with my projects and our days together were very productive and fun. I will remember him always and miss him. My sympathy is with his family.
Sue Grafton

Frank and Gwen Bartlett

December 4, 2012

Benny served his God and his country with love and respect for all. He will be missed by friends near and far..May God bless his family with fond memories...

Melonie Fluet

December 4, 2012

Mary, I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time.

Bo Davis

December 3, 2012

Dear Miss Virginia, Barbara, and Mary, I am very sorry for your loss. All of us who were privileged to know Mr Bennie will miss him and think of him often.