Leonard Benson was honored by his family and friends at a reception held at the First United Methodist Church, Cardington, in recognition of his 90th birthday.
Leonard, a lifelong resident of Cardington, was born August 13, 1925 and is a 1943 graduate of Cardington High School. Following a brief stint of employ-ment with North Electric, Mount Gilead, he planned to enlist in the U S Navy but a set of unusual circumstances led to his enlistment in the U S Marines. During his three years of service he served with the New Marine Division Six on Guadalcanal and with the field artillery on Okinawa. By the war’s end, he was one of 300 men stricken with Infectious hepatitis and was treated for a month in a Chinese Hospital where there were 24 men to a room.
Returning home required 30 days. He was discharged in Maryland and ready to resume civilian life.
Leonard worked as an electrician and plumber with Sherman Hardware for 16 years. He became a sub clerk at the Cardington Post Office working under Postmaster Paul Fleming. Later he worked for three years at Mansfield and then became a rural carrier for Route 3, Cardington, retiring in September, 1987.
Very active with his community, he is a 66 year member of the American Legion, and served in many offices, including that of commander.
He was with the Cardington Fire Department for 30 years, the last 17 as fire chief. As a member of the fire department, the one event that he remembers the most was the oil boom of 1964.
He delivered Meals on Wheels for 12 years and with the county’s other six fire departments, he helped organize the county EMS system.
Celebrating with him were his three sons, Roger of Stockholm, Sweden; Gary of Atascadero, California and Jeff of Cardington. Leonard has seven grandchldren and one great granddaughter.
Hosting the reception were Leonard’s wife, Deborah and her friend Ruthann Cook.
Evelyn Long is a correspondent with the Morrow County Sentinel and can be reached at [email protected]