Saturday, October 1, 2016
HERE & THERE COLUMN
A Real Connoisseur For Sports
They were all there...honoring their long friendship with a departed true connoisseur for sports.
Former Liberty resident Wayne C. Benton (AKA "B") made his home the past five years at Pine Island,FL., he passed away to the great baseball diamond in heaven on August 18 with burial taking place September 18 at the Liberty Cemetery and a Celebration of Life following at Mr. G's in Liberty.
Now Wayne was not a politician or famous person with notoriety but while living in Liberty "B" displayed a brilliant knowledge of sports which played a huge part of his life and he knew most everything about baseball and football. He was an avid follower of the Detroit Tigers and Washington Redskins. He was a retired New York State Corrections Officer.
A serious collector of sports memorabilia, the Liberty Softball League became a large part of Wayne's life for many years as he competed both as a player and team manager and this is where he acquired so many of his close friends, both those who he played with or coached and those he competed against.
His niece, sister and several former ballplayers spoke accolades about Wayne at Mr. G's telling stories about his jokes and quick-witted sense of humor, that he was outspoken and direct and that he never was afraid to "tell it like it is."
One always knew where they stood with Wayne.
A beautiful tribute to Wayne was given on Facebook by Bob Camperlino, Governor of the Cape Coral Moose Lodge 2199 where Wayne was a bartender and in fact the bar has been renamed the Wayne Benton Memorial Bar.
Camperlino remarked, "the world is a smaller place today, Wayne Benton has passed on and I and many others will miss him. Wayne was a member of our lodge and he was there when the Lodge opened in 2008. Wayne loved the Lodge and he continued working in spite of some physical limitations that would have stopped most of us a long time ago. He was noted for his apparent mean spirit behind the bar with his favorite phrase "the blender's broken" and those of us who knew
Wayne can tell you this was his 'act' and he played it well. He was a joy to be around, he will be missed as he meant a lot to his family, us and many friends."
Just one of those great guys who passed through and touched the lives of so many.
They turned out to honor and remember him September 18 and I'm sure to he was looking down and smiling seeing all his family and friends.
RIP Wayne we will never forget you and those great memories that we all will cherish forever.
A great photo of Wayne Benton as it appeared on an AllStar card handed out at the Celebration of Life on September 18.
Mike Woods, right, a former Liberty Men's Softball league officer and league player, reminisces showing newspaper photos and clippings with Wayne's widow Polly Reed Benton at the Sept. 18 Celebration of Life.