Obituary: John Benzel
John Benzel March 7, 1938 – January 28, 2020
John Barnett Benzel, 81, passed away peacefully at his home in Sedona AZ. on the morning of January 28, 2020
Born March 7, 1938 in Grand Junction, Colorado to Alex and Gertrude Benzel, John grew up in Glenwood Springs the son of a sheep rancher and homemaker. He spent much of his childhood on the family ranch in Rifle and at sheep camp on the Flat Tops high above Glenwood Springs. He graduated from Glenwood Springs High School, Class of 1956, where he excelled in multiple sports including basketball, football, baseball and skiing.
Following high school John enrolled and attended Texas Christian University before transferring to Colorado State University and graduating in 1960. While at CSU he met Jeanne Romnes and they married September 6, 1959. In 1962 their family grew with the birth of their daughter Julie, and in 1964 their son Brett. During his time at CSU his passion for golf was born while playing on the University’s golf team.
In 1960 John began his career in golf as a golf instructor at Lincoln Park Golf Club in Grand Junction, CO. From there, John moved around the country with increasing responsibilities in Mesa, Arizona and Chicago, Illinois. He became the Golf Pro at Glenwood Springs Golf Club (commonly known as the “Hill”) in 1967until1986. He returned to Arizona in 1987 where he co-founded the award winning Sedona Golf Resort. John was known primarily as a “teaching pro”. He continued to play, mentor and teach the sport he loved until just a few weeks before his passing.
In the early years of his career during the winters when he was not working in the golf industry he returned to his native Colorado to work as a ski instructor/director of ski school at Sunlight Ski Area and managed the ski shop for Bullock’s in Glenwood Springs, CO He was later a co-owner of the original Sunlight Sports ski shop for many years.
In 1982 John was re-married to Lin Lewis and became a dedicated step-father to Angela and Matt. On John’s final day before entering Heaven he reached 38 years of marriage to Lin.
John was a golf purist and successful in many facets of the sport. A few of his many successes include the founding, development and operation of the Sedona Golf Resort for over 20 years. “Mr. B.” was well respected and highly regarded in the golfing community and his legacy will continue to live through golfers and those in the golf industry.
He was a man of strong faith and was a member of the Master’s Bible Church in Sedona and attended Mountain View Church in Glenwood Springs. His passion for Golf, God and his family will be forever in our hearts. His wit, sense of humor, smile, and twinkle in his eye will be greatly missed.
He is survived by his wife Lin, children Julie Lind (Alan) of Steamboat Springs, CO and son, Brett of New Castle, CO; his sister Joanne Berke and brother-in-law Mel of Dallas, TX. Step-children Angela Lewis of Hayward, CA and Matt Lewis (Julie) of Edwardsville IL; grandchildren; Emma Foster and Deanna Lind, Danni and Brandon Benzel, Alex Lind, Dylan Lewis, Riley and Mason Lewis.
John was preceded in death by his father, Alex and mother Gertrude. Funeral Services are being held in Sedona at the Master’s Bible Church Feb 8,2020 at 11:00 am. A memorial service will be held this spring in Glenwood Springs at a location/date to be determined.
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