Charles David Benes
April 19, 1930 – April 21, 2021
Born April 1930 in Chicago in a house on South Park Avenue. Parents Emil and Elizabeth Benes, brothers Paul J. Benes and Emil P. Benes, Jr.
Graduate of Bennett Grammar School in 1944, top 9-% of his class. Graduate of Fenger High School in 1948 where he was Senior Class President.
He worked with his dad at Manor Studio in the photographic business until 1951 when he enlisted in the US Air Force during the Korean War. His 4 year tour of duty took him to Wright Patterson AF Base, Ohio where and when he married Helen Myslinksi of West Pullman Chicago. His bride of 45 years. In September 1952 he was sent to Korea, working in photo intelligence and 1953 after he completed his tour he was sent to Ellsworth AF Base, Rapid City, South Dakota. His service experience ranged from the worst of times, memorable times and the best of times. Christopher is son was born in Rapid City in 1954.
In 1955 Helen, Charlie and Chris returned to civilian life and settled in Southern California, going to work for North American Aviation in their photo department. They bought their first house on the GI Bill. He worked night nights and went to school days and in 1959 graduated from Fullerton College with an associate’s degree in business management. That year he also changed careers and joined the sales department of a 3M dealership. The straight commission job was challenging but he prospered and during the course of 30 year + career with 3M, had successful management assignments in Long Beach, Seattle, St. Paul, Washington DC and Los Angeles.
His second career stated when he sold a photo of his dog Taffy to the Chicago Tribune for $5 when he was 10 years old and it carried him through high school and into the service. It was rejuvenated about the time Susan was born in Norwalk, CA. In 1960, when Helen gave him a professional camera for his birthday. His photographic career blossomed upon his 1987 retirement from 3M. Helen and Charlie spend 15 years, before her passing in 1997, photographing the United States and Canada and created a remarkable library of “Landscapes & Still Lifes”. Reflecting a uniqueness of styles, particularly in capturing dramatic light and striking composition. They participated in several art shows including 20 years in the Laguna Beach International “Art A Fair”. Their work has been published for editorial use in over 35 countries. And he is still a current member of the largest “stock house” in the world - “Getty Images”. He was blessed with a caring and loving family, two good kids, many good friends and two rewarding careers.