Family Login:

Daniel Louis BENSTROM

Share This Obituary

Daniel Louis Benstrom, 86, of Gwinn, died peacefully Friday morning, October 21, 2016 at the D.J. Jacobetti Home for Veterans where he had been a resident since May of 2016. Dan was born on April 25, 1930 in Bruce Crossing, Michigan to the late Norman and Aileen (Bessen) Benstrom. He attended grade school at Painesville and was a 1948 graduate of Ewen High School. In June of 1948, Dan enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and had a long distinguished career, retiring as Chief Master Sargent in 1975 from March Air Force Base in California. During his tenure in the Air Force, he was both a veteran of the Korean Conflict and the Vietnam War. Dan saw assignments with the Berlin Airlift in 1949 as a flight engineer, military air transport services in Korea in 1952, Air Defense Command/Line Chief and Flight Engineer from 1954-65, NATO in Naples, Italy from 1965-68, Maintenance Supervisor at McCord Air Force Base in Tacoma, Washington from 1968-70, served as air rescue maintenance superintendent in Thailand from 1970-71, Aircraft Maintenance Superintendent, Strategic Air Command at K.I. Sawyer Air Force Base from 1971-74 , and Aircraft Inspector for the 15th Air Force IG Team at March Air Force Base in Riverside, California in 1975 where he retired and then returned to the Gwinn area. Dan received many accomodations including the Bronze Star and the Meritorious Service Medal and is recognized on The Aviation Wall of Honor at Sawyer International Airport. He graduated from Northern Michigan University in 1977 with a degree in Business Administration. He then took a position as Chief of Northrop Aircraft Maintenance Defense Contract T-37 ACE Program at K.I. Sawyer from 1977-1994. Dan was a member of Marquette Lodge #101, Free and Accepted Masons where he was a 32nd Degree Mason and also was a member of Ahmed Temple Shrine. He also belonged to VFW Post #9345 in Bruce Crossing, Little Lake American Legion Post # 349, and the Gwinn Lions Club. He was a former chairman of the Marquette County Airport Board, former president of the Berlin Airlift Veterans Association, former Air Force Association Board Member and was the founding members of the K.I. Sawyer Heritage Museum. Dan had many interests including volunteering at the EAA Fly-in each summer at Oshkosh, Wisconsin, NMU sports, antique and vintage car clubs and many others. Survivors include his wife of nearly 66 years, the former Barbara Mae Karhi, whom he married on December 9, 1950 at Great Falls, Montana; four children, Kathleen (David) Williams of Hattiesburg, MS, Karen (Harold) Kammeyer of Ogden, UT, Karl (Karen) Benstrom of Marquette and Kevin Benstrom of Ishpeming; 10 grandchildren, Jason (Stacy) Williams, Karen (John) Bezou, Lisa Williams, Christopher Lamb, Matthew Lamb, Nicholas (Amber) Lamb, Ashley Johnson, Ross Johnson, Rachael Laurin, and Rebecca Perry; 11 great grandchildren, Javen, Evan, Delilah, Alia, Alexa, Jesse, Grace, William, Ava, Nola, and Maya. Preceding him in death besides his parents was a sister, Genevieve Morrison in 2014. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, June 24 in the Canale-Tonella Funeral Home in Marquette at 1 p.m. with the Rev. Ronald Fike of Gwinn United Methodist Church officiating. Members of Marquette Lodge #101 F&AM will also provide a Masonic funeral service. The Benstrom family will greet relatives and friends beginning at 11 a.m. Saturday until the time of the service. A luncheon will immediately follow the service in the funeral home. Memorials are preferred to the D.J. Jacobetti Home for Veterans Activity Fund, 425 Fisher St., Marquette, MI 49855 in Dan’s memory. His obituary can be viewed at where relatives and friends may leave a note of remembrance.