Benson's Lumber Founder Dies
Grant G. Benson Jr. served on numerous Derry town boards and was a former Citizen of the Year.
Grant G. Benson, Jr., 84, of Derry, NH, died Saturday February 23, 2013 in Parkland Medical Center in Derry. He was born in Manchester, NH on August 17, 1928, a son of the late Grant G. and Marjorie (Newhall) Benson, Sr., and had been a lifelong resident of Derry. He was a graduate of Pinkerton Academy, Class of 1946 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2006. Grant also attended UNH from 1946 – 1948 and Wentworth Institute from 1948 – 1950. He was baptized in the Congregational Church October 1, 1950 and joined First Parish Church on December 20, 1959. Mr. Benson proudly served his country in the US Air Force from 1950 – 1954 during the Korean Conflict. Grant was the owner and operator of Benson's Lumber and Hardware in Derry, and was very involved in the Derry community. In the 1950’s he became a member of St. Marks Lodge #44 F & AM in Derry and a member of the Square and Compass Club. Grant served on the Derry Budget committee beginning in 1955, and the Kiwanis Club Board of Directors from 1956 – 1968. The Derry Chamber of Commerce began at his home with a dozen or so other Derry merchants, and in 1965 he received the Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year Award. He served on the Board of Directors for retail promotion for Cotter and Company from 1973 – 1975. He was a Trustee for the Taylor Library from 1972 – 1986. He served on the Advisory Board for Indian Head Bank from 1974 until serving as Chairman in 1979. Grant was appointed to the Board of Directors for the Derry Development and Preservation Corp on June 2, 1994. He served as a board member for the Derry Economic Development Committee; and was appointed to the Hoodkroft Country Club Board of Directors on May 16, 1996. Grant was the Town of Derry Trustee of Trust Funds from March 2006 until March 2009, and was involved with the Derry Housing and Redevelopment Authority. Grant also helped establish the Derry Dog Park, served on the fire station building committee, the Town of Derry Hardship Committee, the Frost Festival Committee, the Nutfield Senior Center Board, and the Highway Safety Committee.
He is survived by three sons, Grant Benson, III and his wife Sue of Hooksett, NH, Bradley Benson and his wife Linda of Derry; and Scott Benson and his wife Sarah of Londonderry, NH; five grandchildren, Keith, Alycia, Victoria, Andrew, and Christopher; two great-granddaughters, Mya and Eva; several cousins; and his best friend and companion, Carolyn Manson. He was predeceased by his wife, Jeannette (Smith) Benson in 2007.
Calling hours will be held on Wednesday, February 27th from 5 - 8pm in the Peabody Funeral Homes and Crematorium, 15 Birch St., Derry. Funeral services will be held on Thursday at 10:00am in First Parish Church, 47 East Derry Rd., Derry. The burial will be in Forest Hill Cemetery in Derry. Memorial contributions may be made to the charity of one's choice in the Derry community.