Norman Benefiel

Norman Benefiel

Mr. Norman L. "Dutch" Benefiel, age 84, of Newton, Ill., passed away at 6:32 p.m. Sunday, April 12, 2009, at Richland Memorial Hospital in Olney, Ill.

Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Thursday, April 16, 2009, at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church in Newton, Ill., with Fr. Al Kemme celebrating Mass. Burial will be in the Mount Calvary Cemetery in Newton, Ill., with full military rites by the Jasper Post #20 American Legion. Visitation will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 15, 2009, at the Blake-Buchanan Funeral Home in Newton, Ill. In loving memory of Dutch, memorials may be made to the St. Thomas Church building fund.

Norman, also known as "Dutch," was born in Fox Township, Jasper County, Ill., the son of Ernest L. and Nora L. (Wagner) Benefiel. He married Dorothy L. Kinsel on June 9,

1947, and she survives. Dutch served his country in the United States Army Infantry 78th Lightning Infantry Division during World War II in the European Theatre. As a result of injuries incurred during the Battle of the Bulge, he was awarded the Purple Heart.

Dutch was an excavating contractor in the area for many years. He was the first ranger at Sam Parr State Park. He retired as an equipment operator in the coal yard at the Newton Power Station.

Dutch was a former Democratic precinct committeeman and was elected to the Illinois House of Representative in 1960.

Dutch was a member of the St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church; Knights of Columbus #1704; and Jasper Post #20 American Legion, where he served as past commander. He was a charter member of the Jasper County Country Club and past commander of the 23rd District of the American Legion.

Dutch had many hobbies, which included flying as a private pilot and raising and racing standard-bred pacers and mushroom hunting. He also enjoyed spending time with

his grandchildren.

Dutch is survived by his wife of 61 years, Dorothy L. Benefiel of Newton, Ill.; six children, Phil (Carol), Bruce (Cindy), Kent (Janet) and Brad (Teresa) Benefiel, all of Newton, Ill., Mark (Cathy) Benefiel of Mount Vernon, Ill., and Kathy Thorson of Philo, Ill.; 11 grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.

Dutch was preceded in death by his parents; and two sisters, Velma Rose Buckman and Ernestine "Tennie" Hall.

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