November 30, 1983 ~ January 1, 2019

Born in: Ogden, Utah
Resided in: Boulder, Colorado

Kenneth (Kenny) Robert Bench was born on November 30, 1983, in Ogden, Utah.  He was named after his two grandpas:   Frank Kenneth Bench and Robert Roy Holman.   Keera, his older sibling, was delighted to have a little brother to add to the family.   His parents (Marty and Gail) moved to Denver, so his dad could go to dental school.  While there, he became an older brother to Haley.  His parents moved again for his dad’s schooling in 1998 to Minneapolis, Minnesota.  While in Minnesota, Kenny collected two more sisters, Jessie and Laurie (who was adopted into the family).   They moved back to Colorado in 1992 after his dad graduated as an Oral Surgeon.

Kenny played golf for Monarch High School and volleyball as a youth.  He also was an avid wakeboarder and snowboarder in high school.  He recieved his Eagle Scout in 2001 and graduated from Monarch High School in 2002.  Kenny joined the Marine Corps in the fall of 2002.  He did three tours in Iraq in his 4 years with the Marine Corps.  He said the first time was a piece of cake, but the second and third deployments were hell.  He was in Fallujah and the surrounding area and lost many friends and comrades.   He was awarded the Purple Heart for injuries sustained in Iraq and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal for things he accomplished while there in the service of his country.

Just weeks after coming home from his 3rd deployment in Iraq, he lost his dad in a plane crash.  He never fully recovered from this great loss, or from his experiences in Iraq.  He suffered from severe PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).  In 2008, he met Melissa Brunner, and on December 23rd of 2009, their precious daughter Rylee was born.  Having this beautiful and wonderfully sassy girl to raise and with Melissa by his side, they helped to provide a positive focus in his life.  Rylee was Kenny’s world.  He was a wonderful and doting father.  Melissa and Kenny got married in May of 2011, and they had a second addition to their family–sweet, joyful Martin Kenneth who was born on Valentines Day of 2012.  Kenny was so proud of his 2 children.   He read to them everynight and often did chemistry experiments with them.  He beemed whenever he was with his two children.  Kenny graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Behavorial Science in December of 2013.  He worked as a counselor/advocate for troubled youth and as a handyman for a good friend, Randy Law.  Kenny and Melissa had their third beautiful and again wonderfully bossy daughter, Camille (Millie), on February 18, 2016.  In 2017, Melissa and Kenny divorced.   His children continued to be his pride and joy.  Nothing made Kenny happier than being with them or talking to them on the phone.

Some great loves in Kenny’s life were his family (sisters, mom and dad), cousins, friends, boating, Lake Powell, wakeboarding, snowboarding, frisbee golf, cooking, volleyball, golf, shooting guns, and he was even a great decorator, but the greatest love in his life was hands-down his three amazing  children!  He will be so missed by them and all of us.

Kenneth Robert Bench died on January 1, 2019.  He is preceded in death by his father, Martin Kenneth Bench.  Kenny is survived by his three children:  Rylee, Martin, and Millie.  Kenny is also survived by his mother, Gail Holman Bench-Heil; his sisters, Keera (Tyson) McClellan, Haley (Michael) Bowen, Jessica (Cade) Cannon and Laurie (Brandon) Wilcox; his 12 nephews and 7 nieces; his many extended family members; and his many friends.

Services will be held on Friday, January 18th, at the LDS Chapel at 701 W. South Boulder Road, Louisville, Colorado.  The viewing will be from 9:00 a.m. until 9:45 a.m., and the funeral will start at 10:00 a.m.  Following the funeral service, family and friends will go to the Lousville Cemetery.  In lieu of flowers, the family is suggesting that a donation be made to the K9s For Warriors in Kenny’s name.

Please share memories of Kenny and condolences with his family by signing the online guestbook below.


Funeral Service: January 18, 2019 10:00 am

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Louisville)
701 W South Boulder Rd
Louisville, CO 80027

(303) 665-5499

Graveside Service: January 18, 2019 12:00 pm

Louisville Cemetery
2105 Empire Rd, Louisville, CO 80027
Louisville, CO 80027

(303) 335-4735

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  1. You will be missed brother ,you were a hero to us all in so many ways .It was an honor to have called you friend love you bro.

  2. I don’t know what to say to you Kenny. I miss you so much. I am so proud of how well you were doing. You had so many demons from the war and losing your father.
    I think the hardest part was not being with your kids who you adore. I am sorry for all you had to face but I know you are with your Savior and with your dad. You are not hurting mentally or physically anymore and that is a huge blessing. You couldn’t be in better hands. I love you son!!!!!

  3. I will miss you so much. I am thankful for the gospel and the eternal perspective we can have. I am thankful I was able to watch you grow into the wonderful man you were.

  4. Kenny my brother you will be greatly missed!!! I am truly blessed to have served with you! I will cherish all the great times we had on our deployments. Love you, Miss you Semper FI, Delta Squad.

  5. Kenny, We will miss your humor, your passion and your love of people. We look forward to seeing you again, until then give your grandma June a hard time.

  6. So sorry for this sadness and pray that you will be comforted knowing that Marty has him now, and you will see him again. He is truly in a better place. Love you all!

  7. Dear Kenny,
    I hope you are freed from all pain there where you are, in the arms of angels and laughing with your father.
    I will never forget how lovely you were when I lived with your family. Your smiles resonate forever.

  8. Although Kenny had his problems he was a good person and especially a loving father to his kids. They were his life and he adored them. I know he is at peace now.

  9. Kenny, you will be missed. We’ll still harass your mom when the Raiders win. Don’t be surprised if a Raider balloon shows up at your gravesite. Love you Gail!!! Thoughts and prayers for you and your girls.

  10. Revelation 21:4
    4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’[a] or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

    I’m glad your not hurting and home with Marty. I’m sad it was so soon. You laughter will live on with us. Rest easy now ! Rest easy ….

  11. When I think of Kenny, I picture a happy teenager with skinny white jeans. This world may have been too much for him right now, but he will find peace. My son Jacob once said, “The world is a majestic place.” He also chose to leave, but he that didn’t diminish his love for the world and the people living with him.

  12. Thank you Kenny, for showing me, Gabs, and Jessie unrelenting, unequivocal, no holds bard, wild, extraordinary fun during our formative years. You are so alive in us forever.

    I love you to the moon and far beyond (and so does the rest of your Jewey family from across the street!).

    Know peace, my brother. Thinking of you fondly and often.

  13. So sorry for the pain you and your family must be going through Gail. We send our love and hope you will find healing in the arms of our Savior.

  14. My best memory of Kenny was him snuggling my new born daughter Danielle. She was still wet and slimy but that 16 year-old boy scooped her up and welcomed her into the world. I love you and will miss you Kenny.

  15. Dear Kenny,
    I don’t know you; I only know your mom. I am so sorry for all of the horrific losses you endured in your life. A great portion of those came while you were serving in the military protecting the freedoms of life of others, including mine. I want to tell you “Thank you for your service.” God loves you and sees the big picture. Be peaceful.

    My life and prayers to your family.

  16. Kenny,
    You are an amazing person and fun to play games with. I’m sorry for the struggles you faced while here, I know it was tough. I was always able to see the love you have for your family and I am glad to know you will be able to continue to love and watch over them. I hope they will feel that peace and love until they see you again.

  17. I’m grateful to read the memories and wishes for Kenny-

    I still picture him as a Webelos Scout over at the house, playing and making fun. Happiness may not have come easily, but Kenny had a good spirit and wonderful gifts to share.

    I’ll be babysitting during the funeral but will get a report from Sharman!

  18. We mourn with you all. Praying angels will surround you all and support you during this tender time. You are in our thoughts & prayers. We love your family.

  19. Kenny, I am pretty sure we saw you every day from age 4-8. Jay and Kevin loved playing Nintendo, ninja turtles and baseball with you. You are such a gentle soul. I still can see all three of you in your Simon, Theodore and Alvin sweatshirts. From Cub scouts, soccer and the Armatage pool, we had great times. Who could ever forget your first driving experience – down your driveway, across Penn Ave, jumping the curb and hitting the backstop at Armatage park at 5:00 in rush hour on a Friday night!! No one was hurt – amazing!! You always were a busy boy. I have so many wonderful memories of you. We are so grateful to have known you and your family. God bless you all.

  20. We weren’t close like cousins should be. It’s probably because I was “married” into the family. Even though my parents never married. I don’t know what to say either. I love you. I wonder if we felt the same at times considering where I am in my life. I wish I had been able to have someone to talk to. I feel so alone. I hope your family can get passed this peacefully. God bless.

  21. Dad I love you and wish you were here you were always so happy and kind and proud no matter what happened I will always love you and remember your in my heart

  22. Kenny,
    I hope you are resting in piece now and enjoying your father. I love you both and will never forget how much you made me smile. You were the most funniest host brother i could ever wish for! And such a great father to your kids! I was always amazed seeing you with the kids!
    You will be missed! Sending lots of love and strenght to my favorite colorado family!

  23. Rest easy warrior, you will always be in our hearts and in our thoughts. Thank you for being one of my brothers and telling me to “get out of your head; stop overthinking about it!” Much love my brother! Semper Fi

  24. My deepest condolences to the friends and family of the Kenny. May your treasured memories bring you joy, and may ‘the God of all comfort’ give you strength, along with a measure of peace for your grieving hearts at this most difficult time.
    2Cor 1:3

  25. Kenny, may you rest in peace. I don’t remember many students from those early years of teaching at Monarch, but I do remember you and your excitement for joining the Marines and your presence in the school. Your photo is included in the work we produced for the school honoring those who served. Sometimes I end my bike rides by paying respect to those who have passed in the Louisville Cemetery. I will look for you final resting place to honor you and acknowledge your life. Ms Quigg (formerly, Mrs. McGinley)

  26. I will always be grateful for the short but meaningful times we’ve spent together. There will always be a piece of you in my heart. I pray God gives your mother and children the strength they will need to process one of the hardest thing they will ever go through.

  27. I spent a little time with you a year ago and watched you be a great father to your kids! You were engaged and playful and full of love. They adore you!! Thank you for being you, and sharing love with our family!! You and your family are in Our thoughts and prayers! We will miss you!

  28. Kenny, I was so proud of your children at the funeral. They love you and miss you. We know we will see you again someday, and I will do my best to emulate your heart of kindness. Thanks for always being there for your cousins and everyone else.

  29. Kenny, your laughter and your loyalty will surely be missed. You will ALWAYS be an valued member of the Benji Bunch!!

  30. Happy Valentine’s Day Kenny!

    Minneapolis Penn Avenue South living room vent.
    When Kenny was a little boy he liked to cuddle up in front of the warm living room vent, just to the left of the kitchen and to the right of the fireplace. The entire house sounds with the warmth of the basement furnace. Kenny and his best dog, Ruff loved this vent, the best vent in the house. Heat bellowed out in a 15-minute burst. Above that floor vent now, hangs Kenny’s great-great-grandmother Ana Stromlif’s favorite picture of Sweden.

    Bay Lake drive.
    After Kenny and the Bench family returned to Colorado, after Marty’s doctorate, my wife, Dadu and I got engaged. It was the next summer when we drove up to Bay Lake in Minnesota lake country. For some reason Kenny came with us. Maybe his sisters, who were never fair or kind to their brother, created a disturbance. On the way up Highway 169, in a car full of luggage and injera, we listened to Kenny’s record ‘Queen’s Greatest Hits’. Driving through the Minnesota timber land, the piney wood, the domesticated fields of farmers and tractors and crossing the magnificent steams flowing into the Mississippi River basin, we held Queen’s magnificence in bobbing our heads, as our traveling soundtrack. Dadu and I thought of Kenny as we watched the recent movie, “Bohemian Rhapsody”; oh my dear Kenny.

    Kenny talking.
    Late talking during Brent’s wedding weekend, I stayed at Kenny and Melissa’s house. In the bedroom. Upstairs. Kenny and I stayed up late talking. He showed me his firearms storage; it was fascinating. He knew everything. He said he enjoyed watching movies with snipers in it and realizing how naive movie makers were, because they did not treat the firearms properly. One night we were going to watch a movie. But we stayed up talking.

    Brent’s bachelor party.
    Kenny and I left Gail’s house to join Brent, at Kenny and Melissa’s house. Brittney, Melissa and ‘the girls’ (an in-descript gaggle of juvenile females) had all gone out dancing. Kenny, Brent and I had sour beer and cigars on Kenny’s back deck. It was beautiful.

    Penn Avenue sliding glass doors.
    Every Christmas, Dadu and I received a Christmas picture from the Bench family conglomerate. Dadu would tape the picture on the large panel glass doors between the proper house and the three-season porch. We felt Marty and Gail had sent us this picture so we would not walk into the glass doors. Ouch!

    June’s 90th birthday party.
    June’s, Kenny’s grandmother, birthday was a lot of commotion a lot of family and a lot of friends. The family had a wonderful time. Kenny and I sat alone in the front area of the church. Kenny is so intelligent and so funny. That was about the last time that we were alone.

    Driving from Minneapolis to Denver.
    When Gale and Marty lived in Minneapolis, Gail wanted to go back home to Broomfield, leaving Marty to work in Minneapolis. She asked me to drive. I got off of work at 11:00 PM. And I drove all through the night. We were in Gail’s old blue Ford Taurus, not Chipper’s Gold Trans Am (this is for perspective). The trip, I don’t know, probably takes 15 hours to drive. Gail and Marty had, at this point, about 10 unruly children, all girls; the exception, of course, was Kenny, well behaved young man. In the morning, somewhere across the Nebraska plains, where the sun rises, the corn becomes gold and green. It’s this side of Heaven. Well, except for the fact that I’m in a station wagon with the Bench children. As I drove with the sun gleaming in the blue Taurus rear view mirror, Gail woke up. Remember Gail? She’s the one that made me do this. I had driven all night; Gail had slept. (NOTE: Gail’s seat reclined, she had a juice bottle near her, fine thick fabric blankets, a big ol’ fluffy pillow and SLEEPING children strewn about the car.) In the wonderful morning, it was time for us to switch. I had worked and then driven; I was tired. Gail took the driver’s seat. And because Keera (Gail junior) wanted to nap away the morning in her mother’s comfortable seat, I got in the back with the luggage and numerous, aforementioned Bench children. I contorted my body around luggage and these numerous Bench children. Two or three miles down the road, as I was just barely comfortable, Kenny began vomiting. I had to switch back with Gail and complete the drive to Denver. Sleepless.

    Happy Valentine’s Day Kenny. We miss you. We love you.

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