<10>Col. (Ret.) Claude J. Benner
Col. (Ret.) Claude Jennings ("C.J.") Benner Jr., USAR of Raleigh, died surrounded by his family at Duke Raleigh Hospital on July 14, 2019.
He was born February 5, 1935 in Carthage, the third of four children to Claude Jennings and Bevie Mae (Corbett) Benner Sr. He and his older sisters Ina Mae and Bettie and their younger sister Janice grew up in Raeford, attending Hoke County High where C.J. played football and basketball, graduating as his class salutatorian in 1953. In the fall of that year, he attended Wake Forest University as a history major, graduating in 1957. In December of that year, he entered the North Carolina National Guard, which led eventually to active duty military service. During his time at Southeastern Seminary (1960-63) in Wake Forest, North Carolina, he married Linda (May) Benner of LaGrange, and served as an associate pastor at Franklin Baptist Church.
He served active military duty at Fort Lee, Virginia, followed by tours in Vietnam (1967-68) as well as Walter Reed Hospital (1968-1970). In 1970, C.J. chose to leave active military service for a civilian pastorate in Urbanna, Virginia. He continued his military service in the U.S. Army Reserve, and in 1976 he attended the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas as a reserve chaplain. In 1982, he accepted a call to serve the congregation of Westover Baptist Church in Manassas, Virginia, where he served for 18 years before retiring in 1999. He also continued his reserve service, attaining the rank of full colonel and retiring in 1995.
In 2000, he and Linda retired to Albemarle, where they lived for 11 years, during which time he regularly served as a interim pastor for various area churches. In 2011, they returned to Raleigh. He is survived by his wife Linda, his daughter Dawn Louise (Benner) Young of Charlotte, his son Stephen James Benner of Raleigh, grandchildren Nikita and Adrielle Benner of Raleigh, and Thomas and Taylor Young of Charlotte, and his sister Ina Mae (Benner) Freeman of Pensacola, Florida.
A funeral with military honors will be held on Thursday, July 18, at 1 p.m. in the chapel at Hayes Barton Baptist Church, 1800 Glenwood Ave, Raleigh. The family will receive friends following the service at the church.
In lieu of flowers, anyone wishing to make a memorial donation can contribute to Gideons International for Bible distribution or to a veterans' support group.
Arrangements by Brown-Wynne Funeral Home, Saint Mary's St., Raleigh.