Ralph Taylor Benson, 86, of Athens, went home to be with the Lord surrounded by his loving family on Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019, at his home. He was a lifelong resident of McMinn County and was a son of the late G.K “Shorty” and Hilda Wright Benson. He was also preceded in death by his grandson, Brett Benson Allmon. He was a longtime member of East Athens Baptist Church, was an auctioneer, farmer, a real Estate developer, served on the McMinn County Council, was a former board member of the Fort Loudon Regional Library, and was an honorary member of the Athens Kiwanis Club. He owned and operated Benson’s Saw Shop for many years, and taught in the McMinn and Bradley county schools systems. Ralph served in the United States Air Force during the Korean Conflict. He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Johnnie Hanks Benson of Athens; three daughters and sons-in-law, Debbie and Wayne Allmon, Beth and Gary Bowman, and Jan and Boyd Reynolds, all of Athens; grandchildren, Nicholas (Jamie) Allmon, David Bowman, Kevin (Mason) Reynolds, Bonnie (Ewing) Smith, Amber (Brad) Pfister, Mandi (Josh) Decker, and Hali (Ross) Reynolds; great-granddaughters, Penelope, Sybie, and Brett Ashley Allmon, Brynn and Jovie Smith, Lainey and Audrey Pfister, and AvaLynn and Lydia Decker; a sister, Carolyn Benson Barnett of Athens; and a brother and sister-in-law, Wayne and Donnie Benson of Niota. A graveside service will be conducted at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 14, at McMinn Memory Gardens with the Rev. Mike Dannel and the Rev. Jason Robertson officiating. Interment will follow with military honors. The family will receive friends on Saturday from noon until 2 p.m. at Smith Funeral & Cremation Services prior to the graveside service. Grandsons will serve as pallbearers. The family suggests memorials be made to the Brett Benson Allmon Outstanding Youth Scholarship fund, c/o Athens Kiwanis Club, P.O. Box 614, Athens, TN 37371. If you are unable to attend this service or visitation, sign the guest register at smithfuneralandcremationservicesofathens.com Smith Funeral & Cremation Services of Athens is honored to serve the family of Ralph Taylor Benson.

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