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August 22, 1931 - May 29, 2018

Rodney was born August 22, 1931 in Toledo, Ohio to Chester and Eva (Hoover) Benner.  He graduated from Bedford High School in Lambertville, Michigan in 1949 and on September 1, 1952 he married his high school sweetheart Nancy Fry at Augsburg Lutheran Church in Toledo.  Rodney’s work career started at Mather Springs and Toledo Scale, leading to the millwright apprentice program at Willys Overland Motors.  In 1967 he began his 27-year employment as a millwright with Dana Corporation Spicer Division in Toledo Ohio, retiring in 1994.  Rodney loved to farm and actively raised corn, soybeans, and wheat (only with his beloved John Deere tractors!) in Michigan from 1950 until 1994.  In addition to full-time work in Toledo and farming, he and Nancy built their home in Michigan, a feat that their children are very proud to tell their friends. 

He was a member of the Mabel First Lutheran Church where he had served on the church council and cemetery board; he also belonged to the Lions Club.  Rodney enjoyed music, singing, playing dartball, and mowing the lawn at the farmhouse north of Mabel.

Rodney passed peacefully to his heavenly home in the presence of his wife and close family friends on Tuesday, May 29, 2018 at Tweeten Health Care in Spring Grove at the age of 86.

Rodney is survived by his wife Nancy of Mabel; four sons (all in Michigan) Roderick (Nina), Tom, Jeffery, and Todd (Rachelle); seven grandchildren Benjamin Dominguez-Benner (Gina), Rachel Dominguez-Benner (Ian), Brent (Maria), Jeannette, Joshua, Kristen Delucia (John), and Katherine; two great grandchildren Marcello and Dylan; sister Suzanne Straus; brother Ted (Miriam); two aunts Joann Boyd and Eleanor Benner, and four nieces and one nephew.  He was preceded in death by his parents and brother-in-law Roland Straus. 

The family would like to thank his caregivers at Tweeten and from Heartland Hospice for their compassionate care over the past 18 months.  Those wishing to send a memorial, please consider Mabel First Lutheran Church or Heartland Hospice. 

Cremation has taken place; a memorial service will be held at a later date in Michigan.


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