David R. Benner, 66, passed away on December 10, 2021. He was born April 21, 1955 in Springfield, Illinois, the son of Thomas E. and Shirley (Metzger) Benner.
His childhood was spent in various locations throughout the United States due to his father’s work. His life’s journey eventually led him to southwest Florida where he joined Safety Harbor Builders working as a carpenter, riding barges out to Upper Captiva to build houses.
In an almost 40-year career at Safety Harbor Builders he was promoted to foreman, then superintendent, and then project manager. Eventually, he and a partner purchased the company and built it into the enduring legacy that it is today. Building houses was a labor of love for David. Second only to his children, he was most proud of what Safety Harbor has become.
At the beginning of his adult life, he began an eclectic spiritual journey. Through his love of reading and pursuit of knowledge from people of many philosophies and faiths, David developed great wisdom about how to create and foster harmony. He shared this long-earned wisdom with anyone he met. He would regularly remind his friends and family about the importance of being present in the moment. With his daughter Maddy, he would talk about what he called “that perfect feeling,” a special feeling they would have in the moments they were together. When they were apart, having “that perfect feeling” was her way to know that he was with her, even when he was not.
David was incredibly generous, placing a premium on helping those that he was closest to, as well as perfect strangers. He would often share a story about when he was a struggling carpenter, and someone stole all his tools from the back of his truck. His reaction was “I guess whoever took my tools needed them more than I did.”
David is survived by his two children, Colin Benner of Gainesville and Maddy Benner of Naples. He also leaves behind his sister, Jill McEwen of Snellville, Ga. and her husband Al McEwen; brother Tom Benner of Durham, N.C. and his wife, Patricia Benner; as well as many beloved nieces and nephews.
Additionally, he leaves behind two former spouses whom he would proudly describe as dear friends – Christie Logan of Alachua and Jennifer (Walters) Benner of Naples.