Max E Benton

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Max Benton, 55, passed away Thursday, April 08, 2010 at a local hospital. Cremation services by Lake Shore Funeral Home. Survivors include a daughter, Crystal Benton. Max E. Benton was a courageous man. He found fight through fire to help anyone he cared about. He will be deeply missed and never forgotten. We love you Daddy. Thoughts and memories may be shared in the online Guest Book at

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Condolence Messages

  1. While I was a SGT in the Marines I always heard stories of the infamous Max Benton. I did not meet him until I was hired by Burbank Airport Fire Department and he was the Chief there. "Not bad for an 8th grade drop out" Max used to always say. He was rough on the outside but once you got to know him you saw how much those close to him meant. He truly would do anything for a friend of family. He called it as he sees it and let my example. He was always the first one to get his hands dirty. Although I only worked with him for a few years he made a huge impact on my life. We kept in touch over the years and would go to his favorite diners to tell stories. He had a tough time letting people in though his hard outer shell but he never hid his affection for his family and friends. He would brag about his daughter Crystal every chance he got and always had something nice to say about his ex-wife Marlene. I will miss you Max.

  2. Growing up Max was as much like a little brother as a family friend. As we got older our paths didn’t cross as often, but no matter when we saw each other, it was as if there had been no time between us. Max was a really special person with a heart of gold. I remember the time Leslie’s car had a flat and he dropped everything to change her tire for us, saving us an hour trip to Richmond and back. It’s hard to believe he is no longer with us and will always be missed but never forgotten.

  3. Charles Thompson, CWO3 USMC Retired

    I am very saddened to hear of Max passing. I worked for Gunnery Sergeant Max Benton as a young sergeant aboard Marine Corps Air Station, Okinawa, Japan in the spring of 1989. A true warrior, he echoed the image of a straight talking Marine who loved his Corps and country. The "Gunny" was respected by all Marines. Please accept my deepest sympathies to family and friends.

  4. Max Edward Benton is my Father. No matter what happened in life he was always there for me, guiding me in the right direction. I Love You Daddy and I Miss You Daddy with all of my heart and soul. I would give anything to have you here with us again. You were taken from me far too soon. Please make sure you save me a spot right next to yours. Loving and Thinking of You Always and Forever, Your Daughter, Angel/Goosel-head/Crystal Benton

  5. Ed Becher, MSgt/USMC (Ret)

    May the memory of Max live with us all. Rest in Peace Max, may you lead the Marines who guard the streets of Heaven

  6. Gary and NinaTonn

    When someone you love dies, you want the world to stop and notice. You want to yell out, "Someone I loved very much is gone! Please join me in silence and let me grieve."
    But the real world tells us that doesn’t happen, so we cling to our faith and the others who loved him too for the strength and support we need.

    My brother, Max, taught me many things. Especially after we had reached adulthood and I could really take the time to appreciate the gift he was to our family.

    His qualities that I most admired were: a sense of humor; a strong work ethic; love for his family; loyalty to his friends; and a drive to keep on going even when life was dishing out one hard knock after another.

    I told my sister that he was our family’s "good-will ambassador". When he became a truck driver, he was on a mission to stay connected with each of us. Sometimes his visits would be annouced by phone just a few hours or literally minutes from him actually showing up. But a visit from "Uncle Max" was a highlight. If there was a family crisis, he wanted to be there. He always gave special gifts to let you know you were loved even if he had a hard time telling you.

    Thank you, Max, for being you. I just wonder who will check up on all of us now?

    Gary and Nina

  7. Though I hadn’t seen my uncle in several years, he was often in my thoughts and prayers. My childhood bears many imprints of Uncle Max through my dad’s stories of growing up, from the family news of what he was up too in the military, as a fire chief or most recently in his truck. He liked to surprise us with suddenly "dropping by", and my family and I rushed in excitement for a man who attracted us because he knew how to play hard, like we did. What is it that made a man I seldom was able to see leave such an impression on me? I think it was the fearlessness in which he approached grappling with the foundations of being human. As a leader, as a father, a man unafraid to dig in and risk messing something up in the process of getting done. My deepest sympathy and many tears for his daughter Crystal, and Marlene. May Max rest in peace.

  8. Harvey Buffkin Jr.

    Max was like a father to me. I met Max in truck driving school with Schneider National. I am very sorry to hear about this. Max was a great guy and a best friend. I really loved him.

  9. Henry C. Hoffman Jr.

    I served as one of then SSgt Benton’s troops at MCAS Tustin and during Team Spirit, Korea. He took care of his troops and in part made me what I am today. Semper Fi Gunny
    Rest in Pease

  10. Hilde and Joe Hartmann

    It was with a great sense of loss when we heard of Max’s death. We wanted to let you know that you have our greatest sympathy, and our hearts are truly saddened. We know that his passing will not only leave a void in our lives, but in the hearts of all those who knew him. Max will always remain within our hearts, and we have included Max and you in our prayers. May God give you strength. Our sincere thoughts and prayers are with you.

    With our deepest sympathy,

    Hilde and Joe

  11. Heard the news of Max passing this morning. Max was a good Marine fighter and always a good friend. had not seen Max in years, but I had thought about him over the years. He was always a guy that knew how to have fun. He will be missed by all.But one good thing there is another Marine guarding the the gates of heaven ! Semper Fi Max. Sam miller CWO-3 retired USMC firefighter

  12. I worked under GYSGT Benton as a young Marine. I remember him as a really tough guy with a really big heart. He would come down on us hard when we were wrong, but he’d be the first to stand up for us when we were right. Thank you to his family for sharing him with us.

  13. To the family and friends of Gunny Benton. I served as a Crash Crew Marine from 94-98. Although I did not know Gunny personally, I wanted to extend my heartfelt condolences to you and yours. Once a Marine, ALWAYS A MARINE. Semper Fi Gunny, may you rest in peace.

  14. I served under SSgt Benton at MCAS Tustin CA, he was great leader and really cared about his Marines. I am very deeply saddened. Semper Fidelis! Rest in Peace, Max.

  15. To Crystal and the entire Benton family. In 1992, a young LCpl Rice deployed to Thailand as an augment and for 3 months I worked for Gy Benton. Respectfully, I am still in the Corps and sincerely tell stories of Max that I learned from and use in my leadership style today. an awesome man and a Marine I respected and learned from. SEMPER FIDELIS MAX.

  16. Max was a family friend, and was one of the kindest people I have ever known. He would drop anything to help someone, and I don’t think he ever thought of himself first. Max had an amazing heart, and I know that he will be dearly missed.

  17. Lisa and Michael Stevenson

    On April 8th I lost a big part of me, My brother Max Benton. Well that is what I thought until this morning as I sat on the patio with my coffee and relized he was right there with me like he was many mornings. I feel his word comming threw me to comfort Crystal.
    Max was the true meanning of brother. He was my buddy to hang out with and my brother that would pluck a nerve. He saw my gifts that I could not see myself. We had each other in good and bad times. He was the life line of his siblings. He was a friend to others when everyone eles had given up. But most of all he was a loveing father to his daughter Crystal,an Uncle Max(even if he was not your uncle),and last the best big brother ever.
    Max you left this earthly world your way. Because we all know there is Max’s way and the wrong way.
    I will see you when I am done here.But until then please let Jesus be in charge.
    I love you
    Yea Buddy

  18. I remeber Max from my time in Oki and in Korea. Honest, fair and tough. We had more than a few drinks together, in the tents in Korea and out on the town.

    Rip Gunny, I’ll see ya’ on the other side.

    Semper Fi!

  19. Max was my Ex-Husband. We share a wonderful Daughter Crystal,she was the sunrise and sunset for Max. His step-son, Tony, shares the nicest memories as a boy growing up with Max. Although we were divorced we never stopped loving each other. Any time we needed each other we were there for each other. Max and I kept in close contact and had a close friendship. I will miss him tremendously,in many ways he was my Rock. Love you always and I will miss you always, Max.
    In Loving Memory, Marlene Benton

  20. I knew Max as chief Benton at Burbank Airport Fire Dept. Under his gruff exterior he was an okay Joe. My condolences to his family.

  21. I served under SSgt Benton in Okinawa & Team Spirit 88 in Korea.Great man to work for,great times off the clock too…I always wondered what had become of him…he will be greatly missed…Semper Fi Marine

  22. MGySgt Jeff Kindler

    I served with Max at MCAS Iwakuni in 1984/85. I was a Sgt under his watch. Please accept my sincere condolences. Semper Fi Gunny Benton.

  23. My heart aches for the loss of my brother. He was a warrior be it as a United States Marine, Father, Brother, Son or Friend. I am grateful to have been able to know him and share my family with him. I know he is with his mother and father right now with peace in his heart. Love you man!!

  24. Robert E. Walker

    One of my first Section Leaders, Beaufort S. C. 1982. You were thought of often and will be missed.

  25. Sorry to hear of GYSGT Bentons passing. My prayers are with his family. Semper Fi

  26. Sharon White Litteral

    The fondest memories of my childhood were the times spent with Max and James playing in the woods and making forts in Newport News, Va. It was Max and James who taught me to climb trees in the old Maple tree that is still in the yard on Blount Point Rd. today. I was so sad when their parents divorced and took the boys. I lost my best friends. Max always kept us laughing and was always coming up with a new idea for an adventure. I remember the 3 of us using a wagon to haul logs down to the James River and building a raft that quickly fell apart when we launched it. To this day I feel the loss of my innocent childhood friends and I am very sorry to hear that Max has passed on. All my love and prayers are with Nina, James, Lisa and his daughter Crystal. I remember leaving friends in Hawaii with the expression, "Here, there, or in the air." So Max, I offer to those of us left behind that we will see you again "in the air". Until then, all my love to you and yours.

  27. Thomas Hughes, USMC 84-88.

    I will miss SSgt. Benton and my thoughts and prayers are with his family. I worked with him in Trucks @ MCAS Tustin and I learned alot from him and he was great to work for too. I always felt that he took care of me. Whenever I see a kid say "Daddy?" I see Max answering with "Whatee?" as I wathced him do so many times with his little girl. I will miss him.

  28. Max was my stepdad. There were times in my life where he was More of a dad to me then he’ll ever know. He was a big part of my life growing up. Always had positive things to say even if I was failing. It’s true we don’t know what we have until it is gone. I truly miss u Max I will never forget you! Loving you and In your memory Tony.

  29. Max was a dear friend..I miss him dearly!..Semper Go, my friend.

  30. Max was a dear friend..I miss him dearly!..Semper Fi ,
    my friend.

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