Vincent Stanley Benfell, Jr.

March 29, 1934 ~ May 9, 2020

Vincent Stanley Benfell, Jr. passed away from natural causes on May 9, 2020. He was born on March 29, 1934 in Washington, D.C., the only child of Vincent Stanley and Phyllis Terry Benfell. In 1948 his family moved to Colorado, where he attended Golden High School, lettering in four sports and serving as student body president. He had a beautiful singing voice and participated in theater and choir. He was a natural leader from early in his life; when two friends died in a tragic auto accident, he founded Safety Siders. This council grew beyond Golden High, and Stan worked with the governor to establish safety councils and driver education in Colorado, eventually presenting to the National Safety Council in Washington, D.C.

He met the love of his life, Mary Kathryn Pusey (Kay), when they were young, and they were married in the Salt Lake Temple following his mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in eastern Canada. Their relationship was strong and mutually devoted; his children always knew that their father loved their mother.

Stan graduated from the University of Denver in the ROTC program and served as an officer in the US Army for two years. While in the army, he studied life insurance and took a job in that industry when he finished active service. After a short stint in Denver and Salt Lake, he was sent to Honolulu, Hawaii to build up an agency there. Stan’s leadership skills led him to success in his business career and offered opportunities for church service; he served as bishop of his ward in Kaneohe. By the time the family left Hawaii four years later, Stan and Kay had five children, Rebecca (born 1959), Kathryn (1961), Stanley III (1962), Steven (1966), and Jane (1968), the two youngest born in Hawaii.

In 1970, he was recruited to work in Manhattan and the family spent 10 happy years in New Jersey. While he continued to have success in his career, he also served diligently in the church, including as president of the Morristown, New Jersey Stake.

In 1980, he was transferred to San Francisco, moving Kay, Steven, and Jane to Atherton for three years, as the other three children were attending college. In 1983, he changed career paths, working for an investment firm in Salt Lake City, and within a year of his arrival was called to serve as the president of the Salt Lake Ensign Stake. After working in Salt Lake City for two years, he took a job in Alexandria, Virginia as head of US operations. By this time, Kay and Stan were empty nesters, although they frequently hosted children and grandchildren at their home.

After four years, Stan took a job in Denver, Colorado and soon became president of the company--and learned to love buffalo burgers. After his retirement there, he worked with Beneficial Life in Salt Lake City for several years before retiring to work at Beacon Financial, where he was the Chairman of the Board. During this time, he served as bishop of the Salt Lake City 20th ward with his signature diligence and compassion.

He loved tennis, playing it until he was physically unable to do so, and watching it as often as often as possible. He took his family to the US Open when they lived in New Jersey, and attended Wimbledon with his son, Stan III, in 2008. He continued to sing in choirs as time allowed, and his family loved to hear his rendition of “Birthday of a King” at Christmas. A tireless worker, he nevertheless took time each summer for a lengthy road trip from New Jersey
to Colorado to visit his and Kay’s parents. He loved the arts, and enjoyed treating his family to concerts, theater, and memorable family vacations.

Stan’s community service included being a member of the National Advisory Council for BYU’s business school for over 30 years and being involved with a non-profit organization assisting veterans to access their benefits.

Stan was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, leader, and friend. He led by example and with tenderness. His grown children quickly got used to being asked if they were related to Stan Benfell, and then hearing what a profound influence he had exercised over many lives. We will miss his compassion, his quiet but unwavering faith, his sense of humor and love of puns, and his fundamental integrity and goodness.

He is survived by Kay – his beloved wife of 62 years, his five children, nineteen grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.


Guestbook/Condolences

Stan was one of my "Hero's"! I am so grateful to have spent time in his presence. May the good Lord bless Stan's loved one's. Daniel Harding

- Daniel Harding
Gosh! Some people you believe to be immortal. So sad to hear of Stan's passing. Many Many fond memories of times spent together in Church Service, or just as friends come to mind. What a kind, gentle, patient man. I marveled at his positive attitude fighting problems with hips and losing the normal use of one leg. I shall cherish our conversations and times spent over lunch in Bountiful. Separation is tough, but Kay, you'll hold up with your usual dignity and class. -- Judy & Wayne Andersen

- WAYNE & JUDY ANDERSEN
One of the great gentleman scholars of the Life Insurance industry. I did not get to spend as much time as I would have liked with Stan and I regret that. Hopefully, he'll "catch me up" in heaven someday. I'm sorry for your loss, grateful for my interactions with Stan and jealous that I didn't know him as well as many.

- Bill Bateman
As all who knew him know, Stan was a wonderful person and we’re all better for having him in our lives. I was fortunate enough to spend time with him over the last couple of years enjoying lunch and our conversations. My condolences to Mrs. Benfell and family.

- Greg Short
Kay, I was so sad to hear of Stan's passing. He was always so friendly and would say Hi to me in the office. He was a good man and will be missed. I hope you are doing well. Sincerely, Greg Wood

- Greg Wood
Dear Kay, just wanted to let you know how much we love you and Stan. Your friendship has and will have an everlasting influence for good on us. We will be forever grateful. We are missing Stan and praying that you will have God’s comfort to be with you. Looking forward to a time when we can give you a hug. Deepest sympathies and love, Marv & Julie. One of my favorite poems: Gone From My Sight by Henry Van Dyke I am standing upon the seashore. A ship, at my side, Spreads her white sails to the moving breeze and starts For the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength. I stand and watch her until, at length, she Hangs like a speck Of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other. Then, someone at my side says, “There, she is gone.” Gone where? Gone from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in mast, Hull and spar as she was when she left my side. And, she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port. Her diminished size is in me — not in her. And, just at the moment when someone says. “There, she is gone.”there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices ready to take up the glad shout. “Here she comes!” And that is dying.

- Marvin & Julie Reynolds
Stan was one of the finest men I have ever had the pleasure to work with. If he had taken over the leadership at Beneficial Life it would still be in business. Each time I went to Beacon Financial, if Stan was in, we would have a great discussion about life, business and things not so important. I considered him a man of great integrity. I trusted his advice and appreciated the ability to call him my friend. I am so sorry for your loss. Henry G. Sligting

- Henry Sligting
Hi Kay, our hearts are with you ! We have such fond memories of the Beacon trips and your kind and loving examples as a couple. Stan was always willing to take the time and give me a perspective on life, that few had the real wisdom to do. I will always cherish those visits !

- Mike & Julie Rhodes
Kay, I'm so sorry for your loss... I so looked forward to our dinners when you visited Seattle... Stan handled himself with such class and I admired and respected him greatly ! People, including myself, gravitated toward Stan, just by the way he carried himself all the time ! I will miss Stan.... I love you guys ! Lee Rogers

- Lee Rogers
Kay, I am so sorry to hear of Stan’s passing. I admired and respected him so very much and always enjoyed our conversations. I will never forget how kind the two of you were to me at breakfast while on my first Beacon trip! I have such fond memories of the two of you...always smiling and happy and never missing the chance to venture out with everyone else. It was a joy to watch you together! I will continue to keep you in my thoughts and prayers. With deepest sympathy, Susan Battaglia

- Susan Battaglia
Dear Kay, My heart broke for you upon hearing of Stan's passing. I am so grateful you have such amazing memories to hold on to and got to experience such deep mutual love the two of you had. My respect for the two of you is endless! Sending you heart felt sympathy! Please know that you will be in my thoughts and prayers. Take good care of yourself! Much Love, Mary

- Mary Christensen-Dodge
I always enjoyed walking into the Beacon office in Bountiful Utah and see Stan working at his desk even at his current age. One of the kindest men I have met. A true giver. Always called me on my birthday. I will truly miss him and his kind smile and wonderful example.

- Mike Elder
Kay, I am so sorry to hear of Stan's passing. I will miss him tremendously and send my condolences to you and your amazing family! I know Stan is already hard at work on the other side and he will be spreading joy and happiness everywhere he goes. I thank you for your love and support over the years. I recently told Stan how grateful I was to have had the opportunity to learn from both of you, to watch how you live your lives, how you honor God, each other, your amazing family, and everyone around you. I have watched both of you endure so may challenges and trials throughout your lives with such an amazing patience and a great attitude. I wasn’t there for the soul searching and questions you have bounced off the heavens, but I witnessed your undying commitment to family, friends and others in spite of what you have both endured. I told Stan how grateful I was to know both of you and count you as my dear friends. You have strengthened me more than you will ever know and unselfishly shared your life and your successes with me and so many others. Knowing you and Stan is truly one of the greatest honors of my life and it has inspired me to be a better person and to do more. I love you and pray for you in this difficult time. Sincerely, Duane Fugleberg

- Duane Fugleberg
Kay, I'm so sorry to hear for your loss. Stan was a legend in our industry, larger than life in his modest sized frame. My father, Steve Barlow, and Stan were friends long ago. As a child, we lived at 76 H Street and Stan and I would talk about life in the avenues. I'll miss seeing his smiling face at industry gatherings. All the best to you. Regards, Jeremy Barlow

- Jeremy J. Barlow
Stan was a giant of a man, yet very gentle in his treatment of others. I looked forward to seeing him at insurance industry events. He was a great supporter of NAIFA and the Grant Taggart Symposium. He will be greatly missed. To the family: Stan will be greatly missed by all that knew him. May you be comforted at this time of loss, but rejoice in a life well lived. Bart Spencer

- Bart L. Spencer
Kay, I have no idea where to start. My deepest condolences to you and your family. Missing him does not even touch our feelings. I looked up to him so much for his leadership and humor. There will never be another Stan. When everything settles down, I will call you. I know there is a lot going on and I do not want to interrupt your time with your family. The day before he went to the hospital I texted him and let him know how much I loved him. Always will. Brent and Cris Fewox

- Brenton Fewox
Kay, We were so sad to hear that Stan has left us for the time being. He is one to whom we have always looked up. Although we had many many opportunities to interact through our insurance connections, I (John) will ALWAYS remember one event that has left a lifelong impression upon me. While Stan was serving as Stake President, I was the Stake Mission President. On one occasion, I was invite to come address the Ensign Stake High Council. After doing so, Stan stood and asked how many would be willing to share the gospel with a friend during the coming 12 months. I think all in attendance raised their hands. Those 12 months passed quickly and I found myself invited to address the High Council again. After I concluded, Stan stood up, reminded us of the invitation he had issued a year earlier, and said he would like to report his stewardship from that invitation, which he had also accepted. He then told of sharing the gospel with a woman who did some work in their home, inviting her to come to their home and meet the missionaries. She accepted the invitation, received the discussions, and was baptized. He then invited anyone else who would like to share their experience to do so. He was the only one. From that night, I realized that Stan Benfell was an unusual man. He never asked others to do what he would not do himself. We can describe him as quiet, humble, competent, capable, humerus, and much more. And all of those are descriptive of our beloved Stan. But his integrity crowns all the other wonderful characteristics that are his. We love Stan, as we love you, Kay. You have both been such a blessing to our lives. Our hearts are with you at this time. Love, John and Carol Homer

- John and Carol Homer
Dear Kay, I was so sad to hear of Stan's passing. He was not only my boss, but a GREAT friend and leader. We worked together at Beneficial Life for a number of years, going back into the 90's. When the Independent Channel was created, he cornered me on our company golf tournament. He rode with me in the golf cart and asked me if I'd like to leave the Marketing Department and join the Independent Channel. He was so persuasive and very generous and sincere in his approach to me. I couldn't say no. The rest is history. After Beneficial Life announced the closure of selling insurance in May 2009, we continued to see each other in places like the Grant Taggart Symposium. Following the shutdown of Beneficial Life, I teamed up with Chris Miller, who was my boss in the Independent Channel at Beneficial. I'm still working with Chris and that has truly been a blessing to me. The last time i saw Stan was at my wife, Zona's, viewing last July. I was so glad to see him. He came with John Homer, the one who talked me into serving on the Taggart committee, which I did for over ten years. I so much appreciated Stan coming to see me. I'll always be grateful for his very kind and loving spirit. May the Lord bless and watch over you!

- Keith Smith
My deepest condolences for the family. I became acquainted with Stan through AALU and I thoroughly enjoyed those interactions with him. What a gentleman and wonderful ambassador to the life insurance business. He was a great example of service and professionalism. Your family will be in my prayers as you mourn. May the Lord bless you with comfort and peace at this time.

- Brodie Barnes