SALINA — Eldon Beneke was born June 8, 1924, at Walton, Kan. He was the son of William and Marie (Krause) Beneke. He was baptized at Zion Lutheran Church of Newton.
At the age of 6, the Beneke family moved to Lincolnville. He attended the St. John’s Lutheran School for eight years. He was confirmed at St. John’s Lutheran Church in May 1939. He graduated from Lincolnville High School in May 1943.
During World War II, he served in the U.S. Army, from December 1943 until April 1946, in the European Theater in France and Germany, in the Pacific Theater in the Philippine Islands, and in the Occupation Forces in Japan.
As a young adult, he farmed and worked for different farmers. He also had his own combine and truck and went custom cutting from Oklahoma to South Dakota. Then he worked for Beech Aircraft at Wichita. Later he went to work for the Kansas Department of Transportation; he remained in their employment for 33 years, retiring in June 1986.
On Dec. 8, 1951, Eldon was united in marriage to Elizabeth “Betty” Frobenius at the St. John’s Lutheran Church in Lincolnville. They would make Lincolnville their home until July 2008, when they relocated to Salina to be closer to their children.
Eldon has attended St. John’s Lutheran Church since 1930, where he has served as head usher, secretary, treasurer, on the finance board, and finance secretary for many years.
He was also active in the Lincolnville community, where he was chairman of the Lincolnville Cemetery Board of Directors for 30 years and he served on the Lincolnville City Council for two terms.
He was a Life Member of Gilbert–Poppe American Legion Post 347, in Lincolnville, and also a Life Member of V.F.W. Ecker–Fulkerson–Slifer Post 6958, in Marion.
Eldon was welcomed to his heavenly home, April 11, 2013, at Salina Regional Health Center, Salina, Kan.
He was preceded in death by a son, Leo Eldon; his parents; and a brother, Virgil.
He is survived by his loving wife of 61 years, Elizabeth “Betty” of the home; sons, Douglas and wife Linda and Larry and wife Cindi, all of Salina; four grandchildren, Brett, Victoria, Bryant and Brittany of Salina; three brothers, Emil of Valley Center, Lynford of Parsons, and Rodney of North Carolina; and a sister, Luella Snelling of Wichita.
Visitation with family was held on Sunday at Zeiner Funeral Home in Marion. The funeral service was held on Monday, April 15, 2013, at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Lincolnville. Interment with military rites was in the Lincolnville Cemetery. Memorial funds have been established for St. John’s Lutheran Church or for The Lutheran Hour or Honor Flights in care of Zeiner Funeral Home, 205 Elm, Marion, KS, 66861.