YANKTON, S.D.— James Mills Benton, 74, of Yankton, S.D., formerly of Pine Bluff, Ark. died peacefully on Friday August 9, 2013. James was born November 26, 1938 in Danville, Va. He was the son of the late James Warren Benton and Lena Mills Newton Benton.
James accepted the Lord as his savior and loved proclaiming the Lord through his preaching and later attended and graduated from Jimmy Swaggart Bible College in Baton Rouge, La. He became an Assemblies of God Evangelist, impacting and touching many lives throughout Arkansas and Louisiana.
He graduated from Pine Bluff High School in 1957 where he was an outstanding and accomplished athlete, breaking the Zebra basketball rebound record by scoring 29 rebounds in a single game, as his twin brother Bob broke the scoring record of 36 points in that same game, defeating their opponent 100-84 . He also made All Big Nine Conference. Jim went on to play basketball for Ole Miss on full scholarship. He later served in the U.S. Air Force. His work was in communications and during his main tour of duty was stationed at Clark AFB, Manilla in the Philippines during the early stages of the Viet Nam War. While in the Air Force, he also played basketball for the Clark AFB Diplomats, touring all over the area, losing only to the Japanese Olympic Basketball Team. Jim worked for Jim Benton Oil Company in Pine Bluff, and was a gas station operator for Lion Oil. He also had a passion for football, basketball, fishing, and growing vegetables in his garden. Jim was always known as a gentle, caring and loving person who went out of his way to help others. He will be dearly missed by all who knew him.
Jim leaves to cherish his memories: two daughters, Lisa Mills Usrey of Shreveport, La., Jamie Anne McHalek of Bossier City, La.; three brothers, Robert Benton of Pine Bluff, Ark., William Benton of White Hall, Ark., Larry Benton of Little Rock, Ark.; a sister, Nancy Gore of White Hall, Ark.; three grandchildren, Ashley McHalek, Austin McHalek, and Matthew Usrey; and numerous nieces and nephews, all of whom he loved dearly.
Funeral services will be 10 a.m. Saturday at the Benton Funeral Home Chapel in Fordyce, Ark., with a visitation beginning at 9 a.m. at the funeral home. Burial will follow at Oakland Cemetery, Fordyce, Ark.
Arrangements are by Benton Funeral Home of Fordyce, Ark. To sign the online register visit www.bentonfuneralhome.net.