John “Tom” Benner, age 79, of Greenville, Illinois passed away peacefully on Tuesday, June 4, 2019 at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, O’Fallon, IL surrounded by family members. Tom was born February 8, 1940 in Tuscola, Illinois to John Wilbur and Helen Marie (Marty) Benner. He grew up in rural Tuscola and graduated from Tuscola High School. He attended Eastern Illinois University before serving four years in the United States Air Force. Following his military service, Tom worked for Lyondell-Basell Chemical Company in Tuscola where he retired after 36 years of faithful service.
Tom married Jeanette “Jan” Alwardt on September 19, 1987 in Tuscola, Illinois and called Atwood, Illinois home until moving to Greenville in 2003. Tom and Jan served alongside each other in both communities that they called home and together danced many miles and hours on their favorite ballroom and polka dance floors. Tom was a member of Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Greenville where he served as an elder for four years and used his love of photography to be a blessing by documenting many people, activities and events in the life of the church. Tom had a kind and generous heart that touched many people’s lives who were blessed to know him.
Tom is survived by his loving wife, Jan, his children Martha Ann (Mike) Popham of Charleston, Illinois, John William (Kerri) Benner of Lebanon, Indiana, Jan’s children Lori (Doug) Gaines of Worden, Illinois and Jason (Tynia) Kessler of Strasburg, Illinois. He is also survived by his siblings Claude Wilbur (Gail) Benner of Tuscola, Illinois, William Edward (Kay) Benner also of Tuscola, Illinois and Mary Ann Meadows of Renton, Washington, 8 grandchildren, Dustin Benner, Kelsie Reagan, Sarah Benner, Keegan (Andrew) Esping, Kaylee (fiance’ Josh) Gaines, Connor (Kristina) Gaines, Theodore “Ted” Kessler, Christian Kessler, five great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and a sister Marian Huffington
A Celebration of Life Service, recognizing God’s faithfulness and blessings on Tom’s life will be held on Saturday, June 22, 2019 at 12:00 noon at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, Greenville, Illinois. The family will greet friends and loved ones beginning at 10:00 a.m. until the time of the service. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are suggested to the Alzheimer’s Association, Our Redeemer Lutheran Church Building Fund, or the charity of the donor’s choice.