OBITUARY

Roy Benefield

October 25, 1924July 18, 2021

Roy Felton Benefield of Orlando, FL passed away on Sunday, July 18, 2021, at the age of 96. He was born on Oct. 25, 1924 in Nashville, Georgia to the late Thomas Mitchell and Adell Catherine (Faulk) Benefield. Roy was a WW II Veteran of the United States Navy; a charter member of the Nat’l WW II Museum and the Florida Sheriffs Association. He was a dedicated member of the New Life Church of God for over 20 yrs. He was actively involved with “Missions” and had a heart of compassion for the "Homeless” ministry. Traveling and fishing was his favorite past time enjoyment, after retiring from his (personally owned) petroleum truck driving business.

Roy is preceded in death by his wives, Ruth Benefield (40 yrs.); Betty Benefield (8 yrs.); stepson, Michael Thompson. He is survived by his sons, Jim, Roger and Ron Benefield; stepdaughter, Susan Moody; brothers, Lyman and Thomas Benefield, as well as grandchildren and great grandchildren.

On Saturday, July 24, 2021 at 10:30 a.m., there will be a viewing at the New Life Church of God, 2820 N. Alafaya Trl., Orlando, FL 32826. A funeral service will be held at 11:30 a.m., officiated by Bishop Mark D. Todd. Following the service, the Patriot Guard Riders will be providing a military escort to the graveside committal ceremony at Chapel Hill Cemetery, located at 2420 Harrell Road, Orlando, FL 32817. Presentation by Rick Rivers and military funeral honors. Arrangements entrusted to Baldwin Fairchild at Chapel Hill www.baldwinfaircildchapelhill.com

. . . in the life of Roy F. Benefield (10/25/1924 – 07/18/2021)

At 16 yrs. of age, living in Gainsville, FL, in the year 1941 . . . it was here, where it all began! Roy learned four of his older brothers had enlisted with the US Navy to serve in WW II. Being the youngest of the bunch, he was NOT going to be left behind! He fabricated his age to the government, signed on the dotted line and became a sailor in the United States Navy. Roy served his country in WW II and remained in the US Navy for an additional 2 yrs. Roy’s brother, Freeman, served on many ships before being killed in action by the enemy. Today, each of their names can be found listed in the WW II Museum in New Orleans, Louisiana - (Pleman, Freeman, John, JC, and Roy). Roy received his first line of orders, as a Navy Gunner, aboard a Dutch passenger-cargo ship called the Sloterdijk. This was a transport ship, retrofitted with arterial guns by the US Navy. Roy’s responsibility was to man a 20mm gun that was mounted on the side of the ship; he was to guard against surface-flying torpedo planes.

In 1944, during the Normandy landing invasion, his ship was in the Atlantic, transporting troops and supplies to their destination. The ship was engaged by enemy warfare. Roy was unsure of how many German torpedo planes they shot down that day; however, he did recall looking down to see “7” stencils on the side of his gun position.

One afternoon, while in port of France, Roy was granted liberty prior to the ship’s scheduled launch time. Upon reporting back to his command post- on time, he learned his ship had sailed without him, departing earlier than its original scheduled time. Roy had no idea how fortunate he was. The ship he was assigned to be on, went down in the North Sea, sunk by a German submarine. Unbeknown to Roy, his family was notified that he was “Missing in Action,” and presumed dead. Approx. 8 months later, pulling into Bayonne dry-dock port of New York, located off the East Coast, Roy was granted liberty and decided to make a trip home to visit his family. He shocked everyone when he walked thru the door at 1:00 a.m. Needless to say, his surprise visit received lots of hugs & tears as they rejoiced in his return.

While stationed in France, Roy received orders to serve on a ship sailing to North Africa, delivering supplies to the Soviet allied troops who were in Iraq & Iran. After transporting goods & supplies to South Africa, Roy was reassigned to an “Ice breaker” ship that navigated ice-covered waters, clearing the waterway for other ships sailing to and from Antarctica. Roy later sailed to the Falkland Islands, through the Panama Canal and into the Pacific. He experienced combat in both the Atlantic and the Pacific. While on the Pacific, Roy defended the SS Santa Rosa, when encountered by enemy fire, and shot down Japanese bomber planes.

After the war, Roy continued to serve his country valiantly, as a US Navy Sailor. Retiring his military career as Gunner’s Mate 2nd Class, Roy was discharged from Charleston, SC in 1947. Serving in World War II took him to the four ends of the earth. His dedication and incredible perseverance of the 1940’s placed him among the group, better known as, “The Greatest Generation.”

Roy Felton Benefield, you have fought the good fight; you have finished your race and you have kept the faith. 2 Timothy 4:7 RIP

Services

  • Visitation

    Saturday, July 24, 2021

  • Visitation

    Saturday, July 24, 2021

  • Funeral Service

    Saturday, July 24, 2021

  • Funeral Service

    Saturday, July 24, 2021

  • Committal Service

    Saturday, July 24, 2021

  • Committal Service

    Saturday, July 24, 2021

Memories

Roy Benefield

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Julie Benefield Long

July 25, 2021

Uncle Roy
Your wonderful and eventful life will be remembered in all the ones who had the pleasure of knowing you..for a lifetime or a moment. Your memories passed down to many generations that will follow.
Uncle Roy
I remember the last time I seen you. Daddy (Junior), my daughter Laura, and myself visited you during a time of rehab for you in a facility on Curry Ford Road. If I'd have had one inkling that was going to be my last time with you, I would have hugged you tighter and longer.
I loved you and Aunt Ruth so much. I love your boys as well. I never knew your step daughter, but I do remember your stepson.
Now you're home with most of your siblings and Grandpa and Grandma Benefield (both of them). Rest easy dear uncle. Until we meet again and I get to hug you once more, longer and tighter this time. You are etched into my heart forever.
Peace be yours my family.

Bee Cole

July 22, 2021

Mr Roy loved God and he loved his Church.
He will greatly be missed by many.
Bee Cole

Roberta Benefield

July 22, 2021

May you receive comfort with your many memories of Roy. May you only have good memories recollected and rejoice in them.
May the God of all comfort bring you joy and peace and comfort you in His loving arms.
Love and hope,
Lyman and Roberta

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY