Obituary: Dr. Dale Allen Benefiel
Dr. Dale Allen Benefiel, our much beloved husband, father, grandfather, uncle and brother, peacefully passed away on Sunday, Feb. 1, 2015.
Dale was born on March 19, 1930, in Indianapolis, Indiana, to George and Ruth Benefiel. He grew up during the Depression era, working from a young age, caddying and mowing grass at local golf courses and skipping school to play golf whenever he could.
He served in the Air Force, including service in Korea. While attending dental school at Indiana University, he met and married an adventurous nurse named Marilyn, who has been the love of his life. Dale practiced dentistry in Indianapolis and Holland, Michigan, for 30 years before retiring to Prescott, Arizona, in 1996.
While living in Michigan, Dale was instrumental in developing and establishing the "Miles of Smiles" mobile dental unit and program for underprivileged children of Ottawa County, and also donated his time and professional skills to provide dental services in remote areas of Mexico. Dale enjoyed volunteering for the Prescott Police Citizens on Patrol, the Yavapai County Sheriff's Highway Patrol Posse, and in both the emergency room and the Del Webb Center Clinical Laboratory of the Yavapai Regional Medical Center.
Golf and airplanes were Dale's lifelong passions. He also loved and passed on to his sons the love of a variety of outdoor activities, including skiing, boating, hunting and fishing. He loved riding horses and living the cowboy life, and many vacations included riding.
Dale made friends wherever he went, and his easygoing manner and wonderful sense of humor entertained his family, friends and patients.
He is survived by his wife, Marilyn Ruth (Franz) Benefiel; three sons, Richard, Greg and Jeff Benefiel (wife Susy); granddaughters Lacey Anne Benefiel, Kelly Chargin (husband Brandon), and Cinthya Mena: grandsons Jose Luis and Willy Mena; great-granddaughter Chloe Chargin; nieces Sandy Taylor Wilson, Diane Franz Naylor, Beth Franz Colosimo and their families; sister Jeanie Graham (husband John); nephews Jay, Jon, and Jett Graham and their families; and numerous great- and great-great nieces and nephews.
A celebration of Dale's life will take place in Prescott in March and in Holland, Michigan, in April. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Yavapai Regional Medical Center Cardiac Catheterization Facility or to Indiana University School of Dentistry.
Information provided by survivors.