Dr. Leslie Benson

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Dr. Les W. Benson, affectionately known as “Papa Bear”, was born March 29, 1953, in Dallas Texas.

The Celebration of Life Service: 10:30am Saturday , July 2 , at Antioch Waco, 510 N. 20th Street, Waco TX 76707.

He was raised in Texas and  California. He returned to his home state of Texas to attend Baylor University where he played football and was part of the 1974 SWC Championship team.

He married Darlene Bedford on June 29, 1974. After their union, he played in the NFL for the Buffalo Bills and Dallas Cowboys. He left the NFL and returned to Baylor to complete his degree.

He continued his education by attending Southwestern Medical School. As a doctor, Les W. Benson M.D. worked in emergency medicine and private practice before retirement.

He transitioned to glory on June 17, 2022, at the age of 69.

He is preceded in death by his parents; wife; two brothers; and one sister.

He is survived by 14 children; 25+ grandchildren; special loved ones; four brothers; one sister; a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, extended family and friends who will all miss him dearly.

Family may be contacted directly at lesbensonmemorial@gmail.com

Place of Service: ,



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Condolence Messages

  1. My condolences to the family 🙏🏾🙏🏾

    • Thank you so much Ms. Ward! My family and I appreciate you so much. Prayers are openly welcome so yes, please keep them coming as we will continue to need God in each step we take.

  2. Barbara Van Noppen

    Papa Bear certainly leaves a legacy. David and I have you in our thoughts and prayers. We are so sorry for your loss💐

  3. He always had a smile on his face when I saw him ! Such a sweet , loving man ! My prayers go to the family and friends ! ♥️

  4. Latisha Hamilton & Curtis Gaines

    So very sorry for your loss. Sending my heartfelt sympathy to the family. Will keep your family in our thoughts and prayers.

  5. Vanessa Burgess Griffin

    I worked with Dr. Benson in Mexia and in Waco at his office. He was a gentle giant and had a sweet spirit. Prayers for the family.

  6. Renee and Daniel

    I’m so sorry for your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family.

  7. Kenneth and Bertha Pitre

    We have sorrow whenever our loved one is called homes.. Tears and memories are part of the grieving process. Remember God will comfort you and wipe away every tear.

  8. Elder Brenda Segura

    God is able to strengthen and comfort you All in this Season.. I love you and we are praying for you Lady Joyce, Bishop and Braxton

  9. Scott R Harris

    With deepest sympathies. My thoughts and prayers are with your family.

  10. David "Bubba" Hicks

    So sorry to hear about Les. It’s been many years but I will always remember his abundant enthusiasm, cornball jokes and obvious love for the Baylor Bears. Prayers sent for the family.

  11. Keith and Eddie Lue Dunson

    I’m’m sorry but I know God will take care of you all May you and the family be blessed I’m sorry that I’m not gonna be able to make it because Mom can’t make the drive right now .God Bless you all !!!!!

  12. Coach Bill Hicks

    My sincere condolences to Les’ dear family. It was my privilege to be his defensive line coach at Baylor and an honor to be his friend since. He was a Godly man and I enjoyed many visits with him in the Letterman’s Lounge at Baylor games.

  13. Ken "Quiz" Quesenberry

    I saddened and heartboken to hear of Les’s passing. As a member of the ’74 SWC Champion football team, I have great memories of Les. What a great teammate he was! May God bless the family. Godspeed Leslie Benson!

  14. Student Football Trainer Mark Bumpus

    Only once since 1974 did I run into Les in the Letterman’s Lounge. I had lost track of him beyond Baylor days, but was inspired to learn of his NFL football career and especially his graduation from medical school and his subsequent medical practice. I remember him arriving from California in 1973 and his dedication, good humor, gentle spirit and taping his ankles and conversations in the training room. Indeed, he was a “gentle giant” with a love for his fellowman.

  15. I am so saddened and heartboken to hear of Les’s passing. What a great teammate he was! As a member of the ’74 SWC Champion football team, I have great memories of Big Les. May God bless the family. Please accept my thoughts and prayers.

  16. Ruthie Tillmon

    My sincere condolences to this family. May GOD
    continue to lift the family up in spirit and love.

  17. Pastor Kenneth & Elder Joanne Perry

    Our deepest condolences and prayers to the family of Dr. Leslie Benson. May the God of all comfort strengthen and comfort during this difficult time. May the presence of His peace overshadow and give rest to each of you 🙏🏾.

  18. Myra L. Robertson

    On behalf of the Alumni from Manual Arts High School, Los Angeles. I would like to offer our prayers to the Benson Family. The Benson Boys are a huge part of our Toiler Family. Doc Les will be truly missed. RIH Big Guy! Sincerely, Myra (Porter) Robertson-Alumni Liaison C/O’73

  19. God bless this family. We got to know Doctor Benson at Woodway elementary when our boys were there. Love all of them!

  20. Gwen SUE Scott

    To Leslie’s family & loved ones,
    May peace be found in KNOWING this…”Absence from this earthly body IS presence with The Lord,” for those who BELIEVE!!!

    Dadisi ‘71
    Toiler Pride

  21. Brenda Richardson-Mitchell

    Our hearts are sad at the passing of our friend and classmate, Dr. Benson. We are proud of his many successes in all phases of life, and his various accomplishments. We have many fond memories.
    Class Motto: “We carry this torch casting a bright light on the paths of our future”.
    Our love and prayers are with the family.
    Manual Arts High School Alumni: Dadisi 1971
    Los Angeles
    June 28, 2022

  22. Elder Marsha Poole

    My Condolences & Prayers of strength, comfort, and Peace let them rest rule and abide during this time of loss and bereavement for the Benson Family.
    Love You First Lady Joyce, Bishop, & Braxton

  23. T. Mark Buford

    So very sad to hear of Les’s passing . As a Member of the 74 SWC Football Championship Team , I remember Les as a big guy with an even bigger heart . He was always so kind to everyone . May God comfort his Family . My sincere condolences, Mark Buford BU ‘73 -‘76

  24. Sending my Condolences to the Benson Family and to Lady Joyce ,Bishop , and Braxton. Know that you all are In our prayers . Love you dearly!

  25. Kevin & Cynthia Kenebrew & Family

    Sending our condolences and Prayers of Strength & Comfort to the Benson Family, Lady Joyce, Bishop, and Braxton. We love you all.

  26. Mary Cook Campbell

    My condolences to the family, praying for all of you…

  27. Our deepest condolences to you and your family Michael.

    Your Brothers In The Bond 👌🏿

  28. Carrie Crosby

    My heart goes out to you and your Family, First Lady Joyce, and Bishop Kenebrew and Prince Braxton. I will continue to pray for you all, hoping you all will be strengthen in your time of need, and God’s love will comfort you Lady Joyce, along with the Benson Family as well. Love you all 💞♥️💜

    • My prayer… May love and the memories of your Papa Bear fill your hearts with peace and joy. May the Lord bless and keep you in His loving care. I already miss my fellow classmate, of more than 55 years. I look forward to receiving one of his Bear Hugs, when I see my dear friend in heaven. Praise God for salvation and His promise of eternal life. Love & blessings🙏🏾❤️

  29. What a great individual Les was. As a member of the 1974 SWC Championship team–there was not a more liked teammate. The thing that I remember most about Les was every time I saw him he ran up to me and gave me the “Bear Hug” that Les was notorious for. It took three or four minutes for me to catch my breath after that hug. Les worked hard at everything he did–and that is why he exceled in life. He was such a giving individual.
    My prayers extend to his entire family. God has called one of his most faithful servants home and although Les will be sorely missed by all of us who knew him–I know he is in a much better place and that should give us all a true sense of peace in these troubled days.
    God Bless

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