Obituary: Philip E. Benton III

July 3, 2015
By Boca Beacon

PE Benton 1980Philip E. Benton Jr., 86, of Orleans, Mass. passed away peacefully at home on Sunday June 14th, 2015.

He was born on New Years Eve 1928 in Charlottesville, VA.

He was the first of five children born to Philip E Benton, M.D. and Orient (Nichols) Benton.

Philip went to primary school in Wilton Conn. and high school in Westport and Bridgeport Conn. When he was 13, during World War II, his mother sent him to boarding school at Tabor Academy, an allboys prep school in Marion, Mass., after he got into “trouble as boys do” at Bridgeport High school. It is clear that Philip appreciated his mother’s foresight in sending him to Tabor Academy.

With no money left in the family to pay for his college expenses, and determined as he was to succeed, Philip joined the Marine Corps, which paid for four years of his college tuition. He achieved the rank of corporal and was honorably discharged.

He then entered Dartmouth College, where he met and married Bernice Brennan and had his two oldest daughters. They had two more children together.

Bernice died in 1975. Philip later married Mary Ann Ward and he adopted her two daughters.

He graduated Phi Beta Kappa Magna Cum Laude. He went on to earn a Masters Degree from The Amos Tuck School of Business. Additionally, he was awarded an honorary doctorate by Northwood University in Midland MI.

In 1953 he was hired by the Ford Motor Company as a cost analyst. From there he steadily rose through the ranks until he became the President and COO. He eventually retired in 1992 after nearly 40 years with the company.

Philip’s love of the water in general and his love of Cape Cod were never far from his heart. While enjoying retirement he could usually be found on or near the water.

And you would usually find him with his two closest cousins Pat Patterson and Nick Nichols.

Philip was a kind and generous man who touched many lives and is loved by many.

He has become associated with the Cape Cod Healthcare Foundation which made great strides in promoting the excellence of Cape Cod Hospital. Additionally, he was involved with the Orleans Conservation Trust which purchases land to be preserved ad infinitum.

Philip was preceded in death by his parents,

mother Orient (Nichols) Benton and his father Philip E Benton MD.

His sister Carroll Cameron and his brothers Christopher West Benton and Thomas Hart Benton.

Philip is survived by: His best friend, soulmate and wife, Mary Ann (Ward) Benton; his sister, Ann Benton; his six children, Katharine Harris (David), Deborah Benton, Deborah Ward, Cynthia Benton, Philip E. Benton III and Paula Benton; 14 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

A memorial and grave site internment is planned for a future date.

In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to Hope Hospice, (508) 957-0200.

Any condolences or words of love and support for the family at this time can be left at