Vincent Stanley Benfell, Jr. passed away from natural causes on May 9, 2020. He was born on March 29, 1934 in Washington, D.C., the only child of Vincent Stanley and Phyllis Terry Benfell. In 1948 his family moved to Colorado, where he attended Golden High School, lettering in four sports and serving as student body president. He had a beautiful singing voice and participated in theater and choir. He was a natural leader from early in his life; when two friends died in a tragic auto accident, he founded Safety Siders. This council grew beyond Golden High, and Stan worked with the governor to establish safety councils and driver education in Colorado, eventually presenting to the National Safety Council in Washington, D.C.
He met the love of his life, Mary Kathryn Pusey (Kay), when they were young, and they were married in the Salt Lake Temple following his mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in eastern Canada. Their relationship was strong and mutually devoted; his children always knew that their father loved their mother.
Stan graduated from the University of Denver in the ROTC program and served as an officer in the US Army for two years. While in the army, he studied life insurance and took a job in that industry when he finished active service. After a short stint in Denver and Salt Lake, he was sent to Honolulu, Hawaii to build up an agency there. Stan’s leadership skills led him to success in his business career and offered opportunities for church service; he served as bishop of his ward in Kaneohe. By the time the family left Hawaii four years later, Stan and Kay had five children, Rebecca (born 1959), Kathryn (1961), Stanley III (1962), Steven (1966), and Jane (1968), the two youngest born in Hawaii.
In 1970, he was recruited to work in Manhattan and the family spent 10 happy years in New Jersey. While he continued to have success in his career, he also served diligently in the church, including as president of the Morristown, New Jersey Stake.
In 1980, he was transferred to San Francisco, moving Kay, Steven, and Jane to Atherton for three years, as the other three children were attending college. In 1983, he changed career paths, working for an investment firm in Salt Lake City, and within a year of his arrival was called to serve as the president of the Salt Lake Ensign Stake. After working in Salt Lake City for two years, he took a job in Alexandria, Virginia as head of US operations. By this time, Kay and Stan were empty nesters, although they frequently hosted children and grandchildren at their home.
After four years, Stan took a job in Denver, Colorado and soon became president of the company--and learned to love buffalo burgers. After his retirement there, he worked with Beneficial Life in Salt Lake City for several years before retiring to work at Beacon Financial, where he was the Chairman of the Board. During this time, he served as bishop of the Salt Lake City 20th ward with his signature diligence and compassion.
He loved tennis, playing it until he was physically unable to do so, and watching it as often as often as possible. He took his family to the US Open when they lived in New Jersey, and attended Wimbledon with his son, Stan III, in 2008. He continued to sing in choirs as time allowed, and his family loved to hear his rendition of “Birthday of a King” at Christmas. A tireless worker, he nevertheless took time each summer for a lengthy road trip from New Jersey to Colorado to visit his and Kay’s parents. He loved the arts, and enjoyed treating his family to concerts, theater, and memorable family vacations.
Stan’s community service included being a member of the National Advisory Council for BYU’s business school for over 30 years and being involved with a non-profit organization assisting veterans to access their benefits.
Stan was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, leader, and friend. He led by example and with tenderness. His grown children quickly got used to being asked if they were related to Stan Benfell, and then hearing what a profound influence he had exercised over many lives. We will miss his compassion, his quiet but unwavering faith, his sense of humor and love of puns, and his fundamental integrity and goodness.
He is survived by Kay – his beloved wife of 62 years, his five children, nineteen grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.
Life Story Info
My first thought when Jeff called to advise me of Stan's passing was, "Stan Benfell, a life well lived." Sure, I was saddened at his passing, but the overall emotion was Stan did it right and for me and all of us, that's what we all strive for as the final chapter of our life. I have so many wonderful memories of Stan and Kay. Perhaps my favorite was simply his smile and greeting every time I saw him or walked into his office. He always had time to sit and talk. So, "Stan Benfell, a life well lived."
Stan was my bishop in the 20th Ward. I had the privilege of serving as his Relief Society President. He was a great example to me in many ways. He treated me with respect and always made me feel like I was capable of doing anything. It was an honor to be around him. Kay, I know how hard this will be. I have been without Dale 12 years but I have always felt supported by the Lord.
I have many wonderful memories of Stan and Kay - they got us to Hawaii for a great job opportunity, and then handed over the reins to hubby Dean Foutz, so Stan could go on to new experiences! Our time with the Benfells there was precious and enlightening. They raised a great family, so I trust Kay will be well cared for.
Love, Marilyn Foutz Christensen
Dear Kay: We have always loved you and Stan. We had so many interactions with Stan over the years, both in the church and socially. In recent years we loved visiting you guys when we came to Salt Lake, and especially trading puns with Stan. We are so sorry for your loss. You are always welcome for a stay in our home if you find your way to California in the future. We send our love. George and Louise
Alan and I send our sincere condolences to you and your family at this time. I am sure many were waiting to put him to work on the other side of the veil. He was without a doubt the finest man I ever worked for and was always a talented and patient teacher, leader and example. I know you will miss him and hope your memories continue to be a comfort to you. Thank you for sharing him with all of us who benefitted from our association with him.