William Frank Benson MD

July 20, 1934August 11, 2011

William Frank Benson, M.D., age 77, an orthopaedic surgeon at St. Luke’s and Research hospitals, died peacefully at home on August 11, 2011. He specialized in Hand Surgery. He was a founding partner of Midwest Orthopaedic Clinic where he practiced from 1968-1993. He was associated with the Dickson-Dively Midwest Orthopaedic Clinic from 1993-1999, when he retired. Dr. Benson was born in Kansas City, Missouri and attended Pembroke Country Day School, graduating in 1952. He attended Dartmouth College, graduating in three years, and was a member of Psi Upsilon fraternity where he served as president. After obtaining his medical degree at the Northwestern University Medical School, he interned at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital. After completing his fellowship in orthopaedics at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, he took a Hand Surgery Fellowship under Dr. Joseph Boyes and Dr. Herbert Stark in Los Angeles. He returned to Mayo for one year before moving back to Kansas City. Dr. Benson served as a medical officer in Thailand during the Vietnam War. Professional memberships include American Medical Association, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Southern Medical Association, International College of Surgeons, American College of Surgeons, American Society for Surgery of the Hand, American Association of Hand Surgery, Doctors Mayo Society, Mayo Alumni Laureates, and the Coventry Orthopaedic Society. In Kansas City, Dr. Benson was a member of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, the Society of Fellows of the Nelson Museum, The River Club, The Kansas City Country Club, The American Royal Board of Governors, and on the faculty of UMKC Medical School. He was a former member of the Mayo Alumni Board, the St. Luke’s Hospital Foundation Board, The Carriage Club, Mission Hills Country Club, The Saddle and Sirloin Club, The Garden of the Gods Club, and the International Wine and Food Society. He was an accomplished and gifted surgeon but is most remembered for his compassion and dedication to his patients. He possessed strong character, a tender heart, and a deep devotion to his family. His simple humor and gentle and sweet nature will be missed by his loving wife, daughters, grandchildren, and caregivers. He was preceded in death by his parents, Mr. & Mrs. Emil Lars Benson and by his nephew, Lars Benson. His wife, Rebecca Culpepper Benson, of the home, survives him. Other survivors include step-daughters, Megan O’Connor (Bill) Brownlee of Prairie Village and Shannon O’Connor Christian of Denver and grandchildren Rebecca and Will Brownlee and Dan, Claire and Reece Christian. His brother, Ed Benson and his wife, Judy, their daughters, Ellen Merriman and Lynne Benson, and many beloved cousins survive him. He will be missed by scores of esteemed colleagues, appreciative patients, and dear friends. Visitation will be held from 5:00-7:00 p.m. on Friday, August 19, at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, 6401 Wornall Terrace, Kansas City, Missouri. Funeral services will be at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 20, at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church. Private committal service at Forest Hill Cemetery. The family requests no flowers and suggests contributions to the William F. Benson, M.D. Memorial Fund, St. Luke’s Foundation, 4225 Baltimore Avenue, Kansas City, Missouri 64111; to The Mayo Foundation, Wm. F. Benson, M.D. Memorial Fund, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, Minnesota 55905; Kansas City Hospice, 9221 Ward Parkway, Suite 100, Kansas City, Missouri 64114; or St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church (attention William and Rebecca Benson Endowment Fund), 6401 Wornall Terrace, Kansas City, Missouri 64113. Condolences may be made at


  • Visitation Friday, August 19, 2011
  • Funeral Service Saturday, August 20, 2011

William Frank Benson MD

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Sara Tapscott

August 21, 2011

Becky---My thoughts and prayers are with you.I enjoyed the time that I shared with you and Bill

Kathy Woodiel

August 19, 2011

Whenever I saw Uncle Bill at family get together's he would always be so kind to me and talk with me. I enjoyed talking with him. I send my hugs to Becky, Judy, Uncle Ed and family. He was a sweet man.

August 19, 2011

To the family of Dr. Bill Benson:

We are sending our sympathy from Hanover, N.H. Bill was a brilliant and understanding man.
He will be missed by everyone who had ever met him.
We are with you in prayer.

Barbara and Ernie Fleischer

August 19, 2011

Dear Becky, We send prayers with love for you and your family. We will miss Bill's grace and wit and are most blessed to have known him and you.
Chuck and Cynthia Wright

August 17, 2011

Sorry to hear of the passing of Dr. Benson, a nice man and talented doctor who I had the pleasure to work for many years ago. It was a pleasure to know him.

Pat Chumley, St. Louis, Mo

Robbie and Nancy Cross

August 16, 2011

Becky--Nancy and I are so sorry to hear about Bill. I still remember him well as a kid at Pem Day and all the subsequent years. What a wonderful friend to both of us. Sorry we are still in CO.

Ann McCarter Meloche

August 15, 2011

I am saddened about Bill's passing and wish to extend by thoughts and prayers to all the members of the Benson family. He made a memorable contribution to the medical community and will be remembered as a very special person whom I am grateful to have known.

Don and Sally Webb

August 15, 2011

Dearest Becky and family,

Our thoughts and prayers surround you. Bill was such a kind and gently person, and Becky, very blessed to have you in his life. We will always remember the wonderful time we all had at the Coventry meeting in KC - especially at the baseball game with Dr. Coventry. Bill will be missed by us all. God's blessings,

Don and Sally Webb

Carol & Chris Thomas

August 15, 2011

Chris and I were saddened to hear the news about Bill. Our sympathy for you and your family!
Chris and Carol Thomas

Debbie Kinney

August 15, 2011

Becky, and the Benson family:

I am so sorry to hear of Dr. Benson's passing. It has been a number of years since I had the pleasure of working for him, but do treasure many fond memories. He was a very special person and the orthopaedic community has lost one of its best! You are all in my thoughts and prayers.