John Benna Obituary

Service Information

 
In Memory of

John Joseph Benna

May 13, 1917 - November 30, 2011
Obituary

John Joseph Benna, 94, formerly of Terre Haute and most recently of Fisher, IL, died Wednesday afternoon November 30, 2011 with his daughter and son-in-law by his side, following a brief illness. John was born May 13, 1917 in Terre Haute, IN to Mike Benna and Elizabeth (Shagan) Benna. John (Johnny) Benna grew up in Terre Haute and attended St. Meinrad Seminary for several years before finishing his senior year at Garfield High School where he played three sports. He was an accomplished athlete along with his brother Joe. At a time when boxing was as big as NCAA basketball is today, he boxed in the Golden Gloves Boxing Tournament in...
John Joseph Benna, 94, formerly of Terre Haute and most recently of Fisher, IL, died Wednesday afternoon November 30, 2011 with his daughter and son-in-law by his side, following a brief illness.

John was born May 13, 1917 in Terre Haute, IN to Mike Benna and Elizabeth (Shagan) Benna. John (Johnny) Benna grew up in Terre Haute and attended St. Meinrad Seminary for several years before finishing his senior year at Garfield High School where he played three sports. He was an accomplished athlete along with his brother Joe.

At a time when boxing was as big as NCAA basketball is today, he boxed in the Golden Gloves Boxing Tournament in 1936, 1937, and 1938. He became the only Golden Glove Champion ever from Terre Haute, winning the 135 lb. weight class championship in front of 21,000 fans in 1938. He then fought on the Chicago Boxing team against the New York team at Madison Square Garden. He was an accomplished golfer who enjoyed playing, coaching, and watching golf.

John served his country in the air force where he flew 41 missions during WWII and 43 missions during the Korean War, as a tail gunner, during which time he earned numerous medals. He retired after 20 years of honorable service.

Most importantly, John was a devoted husband to his wife of 51 years Mary Theresa Benna who died in April 2008 and a loving father to his four children.

Johnny had a brother and sister; Joe Benna who preceded him in death and Margie Salmon who lives in Terre Haute. Surviving children include; Frank M. Benna and wife Kathy of Pleasant Hill, CA; Mike T. Benna and wife Connie of Ozark, MO; Anita marie (Benna) Martin and husband Gene of Fisher, IL; and John J. Benna Jr. of St. Albans, WV; ten grandchildren, Stephen Benna, Andrew Benna, Karen Bohannon, Brian Benna, Jessica Benna, John J. Benna III, Elizabeth Tepper, Rose Mary Tepper, Abbey Martin, Zach Martin, and three great grandchildren, Logan, Nathan, and Alyssa Bohannon: and many nieces and nephews.

John was a lifelong Catholic and a friend to all he met and will be dearly missed. Visitation will be Saturday, December 3 from 10:30 am - 12:30 p. with Eulogy's beginning at 10:30 am at Thomas Funeral Home and a funeral mass to follow at Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church in Terre Haute. Memorial Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to the Boy's and Girls Club of Terre Haute.

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