Ward Byrd "Buddy" Benson

January 19, 1928 - December 13, 2017
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Ward Byrd “Buddy” Benson, Jr., 89, of Galveston, passed away Wednesday, December 13, 2017. He was born January 19, 1928 in El Paso, Texas to Ward Byrd Benson, Sr. and Cora Burton Velvin Benson and moved to Galveston as a small child. Buddy joined the Marine Corps at age 17 and served in China during World War II.  After being honorably discharged, he attended North Texas University, majoring in business administration.  He met Anna Ruth Humphreys, and they were married on June 4, 1950.  Together they raised their four children:  Steven Ward Benson, Robert Dan Benson, John Taylor Benson, and Zoe Ann Benson Buzbee.  After college, Buddy and Anna Ruth opened a Dairy Mart franchise in La Marque which they operated for a couple of years. After that, Buddy joined his father’s auto parts and service business, and they opened a new and used car sales dealership with Hudson Motor Car Company, which they operated until Hudson went out of business. A Western Auto franchise was then acquired in 1955 and remained in business until 1987.

Buddy believed strongly in being active in and serving his community. He was a member of the Rotary Club, where he maintained perfect attendance for over 50 years.  Buddy was an over 50-year member of Harmony Masonic Lodge #6, Galveston Scottish Rite Valley, San Felipe de Austin Commandery # 1 Knights Templar, and longtime member of El Mina Shrine Center of Galveston. Buddy volunteered his time to feed the homeless on Saturday mornings and volunteered at the Shriners Hospital for Children. He and Dr. Bill Glenn, Jr. faithfully delivered Meals on Wheels for many years. Buddy and Anna Ruth were one of the three couples that founded the Libbie’s Place Senior Day Program of Moody Methodist Church.  He also served on the board of the Salvation Army.

Buddy was a longtime and active member of Moody Memorial First United Methodist Church. In fact, he was the longest serving member of the church, joining at age nine, which made him a member for 80 years.  He served as Chair or member of every church committee; was active in the Methodist Men; served as Administrative Board Chair and Chair of Trustees; served for many years as the Moody Church Treasurer, and was a member of the first Board of Directors of the Permanent Endowment Fund of the church.  He was also the first President of the Sunday School Class “The Wedding Ring Class.” Buddy was known for always being a supportive, loyal, and true friend to every minister of Moody Methodist Church.

Buddy filled his spare time with many hobbies. He held a private pilot’s license and enjoyed flying Cessna single engine airplanes from Scholes Field.  He also loved camping, hunting, and fishing.  He particularly enjoyed his time fishing and relaxing with friends and family at his beach house in Bolivar and often said to both friends and strangers, “Come on down to the beach house!”

Buddy Benson was truly a friend to everyone he met. He never complained and never burdened others with any of his health issues. Even as he aged if anyone asked him how he was doing he’d always say, “Just PERFECT!”

Buddy was preceded in death by his father, Ward B. Benson, and his mother, Cora Benson.

He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Anna Ruth Benson; his children, Steven Ward Benson, Robert Dan Benson, John Taylor Benson, Zoe Ann Benson Buzbee, and his six grandchildren: Teal Jamail Benson, Taylor Jamail Benson, Trevor Dan Benson, Elizabeth Anne Buzbee, Anthony Glenn Buzbee, Jr., Mary Margaret Buzbee, and Robert Ward Buzbee.

Buddy’s family will receive visitors from 5:00 until 7:00 pm, Sunday, December 17, at Malloy & Son Funeral Home. His funeral service will be at 11:00 am, Monday, December 18, at Moody Methodist Church, with a reception following the service. Burial will be held at Galveston Memorial Park in Hitchcock.

Pallbearers will be Steve Benson, Danny Benson, John Benson, Bob Farmer, Tom Glenn, and Cirilo Ostio. Honorary pallbearers are Mary “Flower” Buzbee, Bob Gard, Dr. Bill Glenn, Jr., Harrold Henck, and Fred Wurst.

Memorial gifts may be given in honor or memory of Ward B. Benson to Libbie’s Place Senior Day Program, in care of Moody Methodist Church.


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Service Schedule

Visitation Information

Date: Sunday, December 17, 2017

Time: 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Malloy & Son Funeral Home


3028 Broadway
Galveston, TX 77550

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Service Information

Date: Monday, December 18, 2017

Time: 11:00 am

Moody Methodist Church


2803 53rd St,
Galveston, Texas 77551

Cemetery Information

Date: Monday, December 18, 2017

Time: 2:00 pm

Galveston Memorial Park


7301 Memorial Drive
Hitchcock, TX 77563

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Timeline for Ward Byrd Benson

Born: January 19, 1928
Died: December 13, 2017

Condolences for Ward Byrd Benson

Malloy Funerals & Cremations

Our thoughts remain with you and your family.  We are honored by the trust and confidence you have placed in us during this difficult time.

—The Staff of Malloy Funerals & Cremations



Steve posted on 12/30/17

We will all miss Dad.


David Morgan posted on 12/29/17

Our thoughts are with you all. So sorry for your loss.


Danny Benson posted on 12/28/17

I believe the death of our father has brought his surviving family members closer together in ways I have never experienced. I do miss him now, but I missed him months or even years ago as recurrent medical events knocked him down further and further until in some ways he became a shadow of his previous self. Still, what those physical, bodily events could not diminish was the light, love, happiness and positive attitude he embodied that beamed from him even while physically dying. I know this because I was present and along with others, touched him and held him as he drew his last breath and his heart stopped beating. I believe anyone else in the room at that time would say the same. Now with each passing day I reflect upon his life and consider how I can learn more from his example. Thank you, dad, for your love and sacrificial giving. If I can become a fraction of what I believe you to be then my life will be a success.


Minette Velvin Strader posted on 12/17/17

Dear Anna Ruth and family. I am so sorry to hear about your loss. I will always treasure my visit with you in Galveston. Buddy was one of the nicest and kindest people I have had the honor of knowing. I love the pictures of mom and dad in Galveston at Aunt Cora's when I was just a baby. You are in my heart and prayers. Love you all.


Minette Velvin Strader posted on 12/17/17

Anna Ruth and family, I will always treasure my visit in Galveston with you and Buddy. I am so very sorry for your loss. Buddy was one of the nicest and kindest people I have had the honor of knowing. Love my pictures of mom and dad when I was just a baby at Cora' s in Galveston. My heart and prayers are with you. Love to you all.


Sid Holliday posted on 12/17/17

May the Lord bless Buddy Benson, a long time friend.


Leah A. Mullins posted on 12/16/17

Dear family, My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family and all those so close to your dad. I just remember him from church and he was always so kind and friendly. He always has a smile to share. May your memories of him bring you peace and comfort. Love never leaves. Sincerely, Leah Mullins


Sharon Hill ( I met you through Mrs. Cook/Pitman) posted on 12/16/17

To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. Ms. Anna Ruth I'm praying for you and your family.


Charles H. Willett posted on 12/16/17

To ALL the Ward Benson Family: I send my deepest sympathy to each of you in the passing of this great Christian man who touch my life and that of every person he met. I have such happy memories of Ward at Moody Methodist Church and visiting him at the Western Auto Store from the first days I moved to Galveston in 1966. I felt a kinship with Steve, Danny, John and Zoe from our contact at Moody Methodist and Ball High School. I am proud to say I still hear from each of you via Facebook, etc. and hope that will continue. Though I cannot be with you for the memorial service, I will certainly be there with you in spirit and prayer. Charles H. Willett


Kelly McBride posted on 12/16/17

Anna Ruth, I am sure Buddy was welcomed into Heaven by many - including my parents, Mac and Wauneta McBride, who thought so much of you two, of Libbie's Place, and of the Sunday School class at Moodys. We heard many stories of the times they enjoyed with all of you. Although I now live in Austin, I work with Leigh Trusler and I have enjoyed the connection of our memories of Galveston and Moodys. My family sends prayers for peace at this difficult time....know that many people are thinking of you! Kelly McBride