The Board members of the Province Lake Association are sad to announce the death of Joe Benzing this past Friday. Joe worked tirelessly, with his wife Pat, on the environmental stewardship of their landholdings and to make Province Lake a better place for future generations.
Tomorrow, June 28, a funeral service will be held at St. Matthews church in Limerick. A reception will follow from 1 to 3 PM at the Province Lake Golf Course.
Joe’s obituary and further information regarding services are below. You can also visit the Watson, Neal and York Funeral Home, Cornish, ME website.
Joseph C. Benzing of Province Lake in Parsonsfield, Maine died at age 75 on Friday, June 24, 2016, at the Barron Center in Portland, Maine after a prolonged and brave struggle with frontal lobe dementia. He was born in Portland, Maine on October 19, 1940, the son of Raymond and Constance (Constant) Benzing. His wife, Patricia Benzing, was at his side, and his children, Adam Benzing, age 36, and daughter Christiane Benzing, age 34, were en route from Orlando, Florida where Adam has begun a medical residency and Naples, Italy where Christiane works on a command staff for the United States Navy.
Joe was a beloved and active citizen of town of Parsonsfield and the state of Maine. He served as selectman of Parsonsfield during the 1990’s. He played a leading role in 2001 as part of a group of concerned citizens who worked with The Nature Conservancy and the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands to secure funding from Land for Maine’s Future to purchase a conservation easement on an 8,647 acre parcel of forest land in Parsonsfield known as the Leavitt Plantation. The easement ensures that the land will remain undeveloped and managed for sustainable forestry while it also remains open for public recreation.
A 1958 graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy and a 1962 graduate of the Annapolis Naval Academy, Joe served in the United States Navy, 1962-1967. In 1969, Joe earned a Masters’ in Business Administration from Harvard Business School and worked as a business manager, first at Waterville Valley Ski Resort and, subsequently, at Atlantic Antibodies, a biomedical research company.
Later in life, Joe served as moderator at Parsonsfield town meetings, he served on the board of directors of Parsonsfield Seminary, and, on two occasions, after earning a Master Captain’s License, he captained The Africa Mercy Ship, the largest non-governmental hospital ship in the world. He worked on a Mobil oil ship, on tankers in New York and as a volunteer captain for the Lightship 112 Nantucket, a floating sentinel, part of a lifeline that played an important role in the development of our country and part of our maritime heritage. Joe served as a volunteer on the Russian Tall Ship Sedov on its return trip from Boston to Liverpool, England.
Throughout his adult lifetime in Parsonsfield, Joe gave himself to the stewardship of the landholdings of his parents which he expanded into Province Line Associates. He served on the executive committee of the National Tree Farm Association, was a member of the New Hampshire and Maine Tree Farm Associations, and, in 2000, was named (along with his wife, Patricia) Outstanding Tree Farmer of York County by the Maine Tree Farm Committee.
A funeral Mass will be held on Tuesday, June 28, at 10 a.m. at St. Matthew’s Catholic Church, 19 Dora Lane, Limerick, ME. Burial with U.S. Naval Military Honors will follow at Lakeview Cemetery, Old Portland Road, Freedom, NH. From 1:00-3:00, a reception will be held at the Province Lake Golf Club Restaurant, 18 Mountain Road, Parsonsfield, Maine.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: Friends of Par-Sem, PO Box 163, Parsonsfield, ME. 04047 or to: Province Lake Association, PO Box 24, Effingham, NH. 03882.