Former Gerald mayor dies

Linda Trest

Herbert Benton,who served as the mayor of Gerald from 1973 to 1976, died Tuesday, Jan. 30, at the St. James Veterans Home in St. James. 

Benton was born and reared in Gerald. He left town to serve in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, receiving several commendations for his service. He came back to Gerald and this is where he stayed. 

When he returned to his hometown, he began a life of service to his community. Not only was he the mayor, he also served as an alderman and the municipal judge. He was elected vice-president of Franklin County Municipal League. He was a member of the Gerald fire department, also serving there as fire chief. Later, he was elected to the Gerald-Rosebud Fire Protection District Board of Directors. He was a life-member of the  Veterans of Foreign Wars and a member of the Gerald Lions Club, also serving as vice-president of that organization. He was a board member for the Gerald Countryside Manor. 

As a business man, he took over ownership of Benton’s Garage from his father James and brother Leroy. Later, he and his wife, Lorraine, owned and operated Benton’s Dairy Kreme. 

Herb and Lorraine also raised two children, Marion and J.R.

Benton served as mayor in a different era. He believed that everyone should step forward and serve where they could. No matter how busy he was, he made time to be involved in his community. 

This year, no one signed up to run for two of the aldermanic seats in town. It is indeed a different era.

His obituary can be found on page 7.

Benton’s lifelong service to his community will be missed.