E. Elmo Benton
Published 9:02 am Thursday, March 10, 2022
GATESVILLE, NC – Emmett Elmo Benton, 89, of 225 Perkins Road, peacefully passed on to be with his Heavenly Father at his home, where he was surrounded by his family, on Wednesday, March 9, 2022.
Elmo was born in the Corapeake community of Gates County on November 16, 1932, and was the son of the late Emmett and Annie Taylor Benton. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brothers, Jessie and Clyde Benton.
Elmo will be best remembered for the joy he found in meeting people, sharing stories, and just having a great conversation. He made an effort to speak to every single person at any gathering and was generally the last person to leave. He was the living embodiment of the old adage, “I’ve never met a stranger”.
Elmo proudly served his country as a member of the US Army and was part of the Berlin Tunnel Operation Gold project during the Cold War and was awarded the Medal of Commendation for Meritorious Service. After his military service, he enjoyed working as a mechanic, farmer, and as an owner/operator for Refrigerated Transport Trucking Company.
Elmo was elected Sheriff of Gates County in 1986 and faithfully served its citizens as sheriff for 12 years. He was a Past Master of Gatesville Masonic Lodge #126, and was a faithful member of Zion United Methodist Church, serving as Sunday School Superintendent, teacher, and member of numerous committees. A member of the American Legion, he also volunteered with the Gates County Rescue Squad for several years. Elmo enjoyed fishing, and loved to watch NASCAR and baseball.
We rest assured that with the life he lived and with his unyielding faith in the Lord, he has surely heard Jesus say, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter thou into the joy of your Lord.” Matthew 25:23.
Surviving is his wife of 68 years, Lois Ann Perkins Benton; daughters, Debbie Shirley (Rodney) of Edenton, Jean Benton (Les) of Gatesville, and Jeanette Hart (Dennis) of Tarboro; son, Warren Benton (Andrea) of Morehead City; grandchildren, Tyler Shirley, Ben Shirley (Kathy), Taylor Hart, Wesley Hart, Lance Benton, and Michaila Daniel (Peter); a great-grandson, Luke Shirley; sisters, Ruby Buck and Shirley Buckley; brothers, Johnnie, Linwood, and Walter Benton; and several nieces and nephews.
A Celebration of his Life will be held Saturday, March 12th, at 2:00 p.m. in Zion United Methodist Church and will be conducted by the Rev. Elizabeth Villegas and the Rev. Walter Johnston. Military and Masonic rites will be accorded in the church. The burial will be private in the Perkins Family Cemetery at the home. Friends may visit with the family in the social hall of the church immediately following the service, or all other times at the residence.
Memorial contributions may be made to Zion United Methodist Church, in care of Linda Hudgins, 1872 NC 37 South, Hobbsville, NC 27946, or to the Amedisys Foundation, 201 E. Water Street, Plymouth, NC 27962.
The family wishes to express their deep appreciation to Elmo’s loving caregivers, Deborah and Kevin Holley and Tebia Temple; and to Amedysis Hospice for the compassionate care provided by Bre, Tawanda, DeeDee, Rhonda, Jackie, and the entire staff.
Miller Funeral Home, 304 Main Street, Gatesville, is assisting the family with arrangements and online condolences may be made by visiting www.millerfhc.com.