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Obituary | Dean Ralph Benn, 64, of West Bend, WI

March 13, 2024 – West Bend, WI –  Dean Ralph Benn (12/03/1959 – 03/06/2024) – With profound sorrow we announce the passing of Dean Ralph Benn, who was carried to Heaven in the arms of Jesus on March 6, 2024, at the age of 64, after an abrupt battle with Pancreatic Cancer. Dean’s life was a tapestry woven with threads of faith, dedication, compassion, and an unwavering commitment to family.


Dean Benn

Born in Jackson, Wisconsin, on December 3, 1959, Dean’s early years were shaped by the love of his parents, Lawrence and Elaine Benn (Bredlau), alongside his older brother Dennis Benn and younger sister Nona (Rob) Claybaugh. At the age of 7 the Benn family moved to West Bend Wisconsin where he developed lasting friendships. Later in his life he welcomed a second older brother, Preston (Kim) Mangan.

After graduating University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 1985 Dean joined his Father, Mother and Sister in Arizona where his journey unfolded with purpose, leading him to a distinguished 35-year career at McLane Company Inc, eventually ascending to the role of Vice President of Grocery Distribution.

His leadership was a professional endeavor, a testament to his belief in empowering others, and the nurturing of his McLane family. Dean’s camaraderie with his colleagues drove his day and he made many dear friends. His career with McLane took him from AZ to TX to KY and back to TX. In November of 2023 he moved to Tucson Arizona to be close to family.

Dean’s love extended beyond the professional realm. A passionate motorsports enthusiast, he attended the Indy500 for almost 40 years, and his international travels with his brother Dennis and close friend Ken became cherished traditions, coining the name “The 3 Amigo’s.” His playful personality and enduring humor, inspired by friends, relatives, and his own creativity, made every room lighter. Even in his final days, he embraced life with laughter, expressing his desire to “go to heaven laughing.”

As a devout Lutheran, Dean valued faith, family, and the connections that bind us. His relationship with God was the catalyst for many of his life’s decisions and the focus of his daily life. Next to this was his love for his mother and his wishes to care for her and bring her joy. Dean, his sister Nona and her husband Rob loved all the laughs and glorious times shared over a cocktail or a bottle of wine. As an uncle, he never missed a moment in the lives of his nephew Jantzen and his wife Jodi, and he drew happiness from the pictures and stories of his Great Nephews, Jaxon and Julian.

Dean’s resilience was tested with the loss of his father Larry Benn in 2008, but he carried forward a legacy of compassion, work ethic, generosity and commitment to family that would have made his father proud. The passing of his beloved brother Dennis in 2022 left an indelible mark on Dean, as they were not only brothers but inseparable friends.

As we bid farewell to Dean, let us remember the laughter, the warmth, and the profound impact of a life well-lived. His departure stands as a powerful reminder to cherish what is most important and to find gratitude in each passing day. May he rest peacefully in paradise, surrounded by the eternal light of God’s heavenly joy.

A Visitation will be held on Monday, March 18 from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m. at Phillip Funeral Home Chapel (1420 W Paradise Dr. West Bend, WI). A Private Family Funeral Service will be held on Tuesday with interment to follow at Graceland Cemetery in Milwaukee. The Service will be available for viewing on Phillip Funeral Home’s Facebook page after 1 p.m. Tuesday.

At Dean’s request, memorials are to be directed to Good Shepherd Lutheran School in West Bend, Wisconsin in appreciation for the solid Christian education provided to him by his parents and the congregation.

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