ACADEMY GRADUATION – Governor Mike Dunleavy shakes hands with graduates at the Alaska Department of Public Safety Law Enforcement Training Session 1902 graduation ceremony this afternoon at the Sheet'ka Kwaan Naa Kahidi. Twenty-six law enforcement officers from across the state received their badges in the ceremony and will be taking jobs as Alaska State Troopers, a Wildlife Trooper, and city and borough police department officers.  (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Bob Benton


Bob Benton

Longtime Sitka resident Pastor Bob Benton died peacefully at home on March 1. He was 69.

A going-home celebration service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 10, at the Presbyterian Church. A reception will follow at the church’s Latta Hall.

Bobby Jean Benton was born, in his words “at a very young age” in East Tallassee, Alabama, arriving at Elmore Hospital to meet his new family at 5:25 a.m. on May 1, 1948. He was taken home by a very excited mother, where he joined a brother, William Thomas Benton, called Tommy.

He joined a unique family in the small mill town of Carville, Alabama. What made the family unusual was that Bob’s great-grandmother, grandmother, and mother all lived together. 

When Bob was about 4, his mother married Harold Ledbetter. They lived in Carville for about three years, before Harold moved the family to Liberty City, Alabama, to work on his father’s  farm.

Bob attended Reeltown High School in Notasulga, Alabama, and graduated from Macon Academy near Tuskegee. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in July 1966, and was stationed in Anchorage, as a guided missile equipment repairman.

While in the Army, he met Flo Larsen in Seward, at the Army Recreation camp there. Upon his honorable discharge, he continued to pursue her, and they were married on Dec. 21, 1969, in Notasulga, Alabama.

Bob graduated from the American Institute of Banking at the University of Alaska Anchorage in 1972. With high recommendations from his employer at National Bank of Alaska, Anchorage, Bob accepted a position as assistant branch manager of National Bank of Alaska (now Wells Fargo Bank) in Sitka in 1973. During their time in Sitka, he supported many community activities.

The family moved back to Anchorage where Bob attended the Charismatic Bible School in Anchorage and was ordained a pastor in 1978. They moved back to Sitka in May of 1978. Bob was blessed to serve for 39 years in the pulpit of the Sitka Christian Center, which he founded.

Bob and Flo are privileged to have four children, who can do no wrong.

Bob was informed in June 2017 that he had inoperable liver cancer.

He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Flo Benton; their four children, Jena Lasley (Matthew) and Carrie King (Dale) of Anchorage, and Andy Benton and Brian Benton of Sitka; and two granddaughters, Eva King and Beatrice King of Anchorage.



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