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William Thomas Benke

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J. Henry Stuhr West Ashley Chapel

3360 Glenn McConnell Parkway
Charleston, SC 29414
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“Uncle Billy was a joy all my life! He was always fun, kind, and quite interesting. As a child, I was so happy to see him when he'd come visit from...Read More »
1 of 8 | Posted by: Marjorie Warhurst - FL - family

“With deepest sympathy. ”
2 of 8 | Posted by: William Morris - Summerville, NC

“Billy's wife Charlene was my mom Jenni's sister. I have many fond memories of Uncle Billy from my childhood. I have kept in touch with him over the...Read More »
3 of 8 | Posted by: Denise Mortensen - Marietta, GA

“Our heavenly father is good and merciful, he keep those who pass on in his memory because they are precious to him. Psalms 116:15. ”
4 of 8 | Posted by: AC GA

“Sorry for your loss. Bill was a great guy and worked well at Broyhill ”
5 of 8 | Posted by: Ray Simonetti - Staten island, NY

“David and family; sorry to hear of Billy's passing; the Benke' go way to the 50's when Marybelle work for my parents at DavisonsFashion House on King...Read More »
6 of 8 | Posted by: Lowell Epstein - Charleston

“Sorry for your loss. May the GOD of all comfort be with the family at this time. ”
7 of 8 | Posted by: D. Washington


William Thomas Benke, known by his friends as Bill, passed away unexpectedly January 8, 2019. Bill was born in Charleston in 1934, and was a widower, having lost his beloved wife, Charlene Priebe Benke, in 2003. His parents were Mary Belle Hutto Benke and Robert Anthony Benke. Bill is survived by his brother, David Ray Benke, but was predeceased by his older brother, Robert Anthony Benke, Jr., and his older sister, Barbara Benke Smith. Although Bill did not have children of his own, he had many nieces and nephews, extended family, and close friends that loved him and will miss him dearly.

Bill attended James Simmons Elementary School and graduated from Rivers High School. Bill was a very talented athlete from a young age and often spoke of "growing up" on the Hampton Park Playground. He excelled in many track and field sports, football, and basketball. He was awarded a basketball scholarship at the College of Charleston where he excelled and served as co-captain of the team with his close friend for life, Raymond Smith. Bill graduated from the College with a BA degree in history in 1956.

Bill held several jobs, including the National Park Service, Redisco Finance Company, and Chrysler Finance Company, before starting a long and successful career with Broyhill Industries as a furniture sales representative. At Broyhill, he was honored with many awards, and received the National Sales Representative of the Year four years in a row. His humor and ability to make conversation and close friendships with anyone he met served him well throughout his career. He was a natural born story teller, and delighted in turning everyday frustrations into hilarious and embellished yarns, which became funnier and more animated each time he told them.

Bill was a member of the Pittman Street Baptist Church in North Charleston and a Bible reader of many Gideon Bibles in his travels as a salesman. His favorite verses were Phillipians 4:4-6. Friends and family are invited to attend a visitation on Saturday morning, January 12th at 10:30 in the Stuhr's West Ashley location at 3660 Glenn McConnell Parkway, followed by a funeral service led by Pastor David Ridley and interment at Live Oak Memorial Gardens. A reception will follow the burial at the Pittman Street Baptist Church at 5105 Pittman Street, North Charleston.

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Live Oak Memorial Gardens

3093 Ashley River Road Charleston, SC 29414
(843) 766-2391