He retired in 1996 after 20 years with National Marine Fisheries Service, a part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association. During his time with NMFS, he was a special agent in Los Angeles, senior special agent in Honolulu, Hawaii, and special agent in charge of the southeast region, which included Miami and Key West, Florida, as well as of the Texas Gulf Coast at his retirement. He graduated from McFarland High School and served in the 32nd division of the Wisconsin Army National Guard for 2 years. He began his career as a game warden for the state of Washington. He had a life-long passion for protecting the environment and all of its creatures through wildlife, marine mammal and fishing conservation enforcement. This included playing an instrumental role in the enforcement of the Marine Mammal Act and the Endangered Species Act. He also served on drug task forces in Miami and Texas. His enforcement role took him throughout the Caribbean and South Pacific.
He was also an entrepreneur, enjoying successful business ventures that included the Misty Anne Fishing Co. in Hawaii, Tee to Green in Florida, Annie Oaks Farm raising Paso Finos in Homestead, Florida, and Liberty, and raising grapefruits in Harlingen, Texas. He also served on the board of Hickory Hills Country Club and was an avid golfer and certified teaching golf professional.
He is preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his wife, Anne of 33 years; his sons, Timothy Benson and Christopher Bernard of Miami; his grandchildren, Trenton Kawika, Matthew Brennan and Kaeli Alika of Miami; and close family and friends including Thomas Ackerson of Traverse City, Michigan; Betty Ray and Patricia Parks of Liberty; and Melissa Streeter and Cynthia Kay of Miami.
A memorial requiem mass is planned for Saturday, November 14 at 1 p.m. at Christ the King Anglican Church, 1300 Halon Young Road in Liberty. Cremations rites were honored by McKinney-Brown Funeral Home.
The family is grateful for the care and compassion of the staff of Fresenius Medical Center in Somerset and Hospice of Lake Cumberland. Memorial donations may be made to Christ the King Anglican Church in Liberty, Lindsey Wilson College or Hospice.
Arrangements entrusted to McKinney-brown Funeral Home with guestbook available online at www.mckinneybrown.com