American Patriotic 10


James O. Benschoter

April 8, 1933 ~ May 28, 2018 (age 85)

James Oliver Benschoter went to be with the Lord on May 28, 2018 at the age of 85. He was born on his family’s country home in Sebewa Township on April 8, 1933 to Don and Winnie Benschoter. He graduated from Portland High School in 1951 after high school he was employed at Oldsmobile in Lansing. He enlisted in the U.S. Army on February 4, 1953 and served for four years, mainly in Budingen, Germany, this is where he met the love of his life, Leonarda Benschoter. They returned to the family farm in Sunfield, Michigan after completing his military service. There they raised their three children, James, Delores, and Karen. He returned to his job at Oldsmobile and later retired.

James was preceded in death by his wife of 62 years, Leonarda; his daughter, Delores; son, James W.; brothers, Don, Jr. and Norton; and infant brother, John. He is survived by his daughter, Karen (Terry) Lafler; their sons, Nicholas (Ashley) Lafler and Matthew (Nichelle) Brown; daughter-in-law, Julie Benschoter; her daughters, Kristi (Derek) Waddle, Jill (Nicole) Benschoter and Kellie (Jason) Abfalter; great-grandchildren, Elizabeth, Ezra, Jayden, Gabrielle, Lex, Ethan, Dylan, Eyvah, Raegan, Emma, Lauryn, and Corbin; sister, Mary Lou Duncan and family; and many nieces, nephews, and special friends.

James enjoyed auctions, horses, painting houses, and spending time with his family. A Graveside Service will be held at 11:00 a.m., Thursday, June 7, 2018 at East Sebewa Cemetery followed by a luncheon at the Portland V.F.W. Post #4090. Arrangements are entrusted to Lehman Funeral Homes. Online condolences may be made at

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