Chapter Grand

Michael Benefield #273

Michael Wayne Benefield was born on April 3, 1952, at the U.S. Army Hospital at West Point Military Academy to Elinor Ruth Prince and Charles Rayford Benefield. Mike’s father served in the U.S. Air Force during that time and was later deployed to Guam. After deployment, the Benefield family moved back to Dallas in 1954, and then to Mesquite in 1961.

Mike grew up attending Mesquite ISD schools and graduated as a proud Mesquite “Skeeter” in 1970. He was an excellent student and played basketball and baseball through junior high. His passion turned to baseball in high school, earning him a scholarship as a center fielder at Grayson County College. After Grayson, Mike traveled east to Stephen F. Austin State University and fell in love with the Piney Woods of East Texas. He was an active member of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity and graduated with a degree in business administration in 1974.

After graduation, Mike was presented the opportunity to work for a new local sporting goods store called Mesquite Sports Center. The owner, George Ralph Francis, was looking for someone just like Mike to help him with his new business and he couldn’t have made a better choice. George would become Mike’s mentor, trusted friend and business partner. Since 1975, and until just weeks ago, Mike helped build a stand-alone/brick and mortar family-owned business into one that is respected in its industry, not only locally but throughout the country. After selling the business to his trusted colleague, Danny Gregory, in 2004, he continued working for the store in outside sales and broadening its reach. This new role also allowed time to hone his entrepreneurial skills and invest in a variety of new ventures, including his favorite Cajun restaurant.

When a stage 4 colon cancer diagnosis struck Mike in 2014, his world – and his family’s world – was rocked; but he handled it with dignity and strength every step of the way. He refused to let cancer define him or control his life; he never stopped dreaming, planning and investing in his family, friends, community and church. Mike was a devout Christian and never lost an opportunity to express his faith. That strong faith, combined with his personal discipline, contagious smile and unwavering positive attitude served him well through these years of illness and inspired all who knew him.

Mike is survived by his wife of almost 39 years: Cindy; daughter: Lesli and son-in-law Stuart Browne; son: Drew and daughter-in-law Kelly and grandson Baker; parents: Ruth and Rayford Benefield; brothers: Chuck Benefield, Greg Benefield and sister-in-law Delana; a multitude of beloved nieces, nephews, special cousins– and many, many loving and devoted friends.

The family of Mike Benefield has been touched by the tremendous outpouring of love and support during his illness and death. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Mike’s favorite ministry through Eastridge Park Christian Church, “Calvary’s Kidz”, 2701 N. Town East Blvd., Mesquite, TX, 75150.

Funeral services will be held 11:00am Wednesday, March 14, 2018, at Eastridge Park Christian Church, 2701 N Town E Blvd, Mesquite, 75150, with Pastor Scott Wooddell and Bro. Dan Carroll officiating. Interment will follow at 3:00pm at Rest Haven Memorial Park. A gathering for family and friends will be held prior to the service at the church beginning at 10:00am.

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09/12/18 09:09 AM #1    

Joseph Martino #248

I was an active member of Phi Delta Theta when Mike pledged the fraternity. All of us as Brothers were so happy that he choose our fraternity to be a part of. I spent many days on the flag football field and softball field with Mike as we represented the Phis Intramural Sports. He was a great guy and athlete but more importantly a wonderful friend and Brother. Rest In Peace Brother Mike.

Joe Martino #248

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