Boats 06

Ronald Bensz

July 2, 1928 ~ February 6, 2024 (age 95) 95 Years Old
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Ronald Bensz Obituary

Ronald R. Bensz
July 2, 1928 - February 6, 2024 

Ronald Roy Bensz, age 95, of Michigan City, Indiana passed away on Tuesday, February 6th, 2024.  Ron was born July 2nd, 1928 to Alfred and Helen (Barlow) Bensz, who preceded him in death. He had two sisters who preceded him in death, Jean (Bud) Wolfe, New Port Richey, FL and Lorraine (John) Chambly, Fort Myers, FL.  He was also preceded in death by his wife and love of his life, Jean (DeVaux) Bensz, whom he married on September 23, 1950 and shared almost 70 years of marriage and countless sunsets.

Surviving are daughter, Jennifer (Steve) Emery of Gallatin, TN; two sons, Barry (Joan) Bensz of La Porte, IN and Rod (Amy) Bensz of Michigan City, IN; Grandpa B to six grandchildren, Jaime (Chris) Cipares, Jenna (Rodd) Hunter, Jordan (Elizabeth) Simpkins, Jacob (Denise) Bensz, Tyler Bensz, Ella Bensz. Great-Grandpa B to eight great-grandchildren, Jackson Cipares, Austin Cipares, Grace Cipares, Everett Hunter, Elenore Hunter, Turner Hunter, Anna Bensz and William Ronald Bensz;

Ron graduated from Elston High School and became a journeyman carpenter after serving his apprenticeship.  Ron had a passion for development and loved to design and create.  He designed five homes for his family along with several business and community buildings.

He founded B & E Marine with his partner Roland Evett in Michigan City, IN in 1953. In 1955 he acquired Evett’s share and began a strategic program of growth and reinvestment into both the business and surrounding community.   He also started the Lake Michigan Marine Trades Association.  He was instrumental in bringing the Michigan City In-Water Boat Show to town in 1979.  He helped develop Marina Park South Condos on Trail Creek.  He was also an original founder of the Hoosier Coho Club Fishing Tournament in the 70’s.

He was co-chairman of the first Washington Park Observation Tower restoration project.  He established the Preservationists of Michigan City.  After selling the marina to his sons in 1987, he and his wife opened The Antique Market in 1990.  He had a vision to create Pioneerland at the LaPorte County Fair in 1993.  He was the chairman of the development committee for the Restoration of the International Friendship Gardens.  He was a board member and helped develop the Rumley-Allis Chalmers Heritage Museum in LaPorte, IN. He was a member of the Historical Steam Show of LaPorte County. He also served on several other boards including the Michigan City Chamber, Mercury Marine Congress, Dunes National Park Board, Michigan City Historical Review Board.  He was a MC Rotary Club Paul Harris Fellow, Paul J. Alinsky Award recipient and longtime member of the Michigan City Rotary Club. He was a Recipient of the Exchange Club’s Golden Deeds Award. He was a member of Gideons International, Evergreen Baptist Church and was a supporter of the Salvation Army.

Ron always had a smile on his face, he loved God, he loved people, and he loved his hometown, Michigan City, IN.  He enjoyed spending time with family and friends, collecting tools, planting flowers, running heavy equipment, and riding his bike up and down Lake Shore Drive.  His favorite bible verse was John 3:16, which he recited since he was 12 years old.

Funeral services will be held at 1:00 pm, Thursday, February 15, 2024 at Evergreen Baptist Church, 2005 Coolspring Ave., Michigan City, IN with Pastor Chris Terry officiating. Burial will follow in Greenwood Cemetery.  Visitation will be from 10:00 am - 1:00 pm, Thursday at the church. The Ott/Haverstock Funeral Chapel, Michigan City, IN is handling arrangements.

In lieu of flowers, memorials for Ron may be made out to the Bensz Family Scholarship Fund at the Unity Foundation of LaPorte County, 422 Franklin St. Suite C, Michigan City, IN, Evergreen Baptist Church, 2005 E. Coolspring Ave, Michigan City, IN 46360 or to “The Gardens” online at or by mail at Friendship Botanic Gardens, 2055 US-12, Michigan City, IN 46360.

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February 15, 2024

10:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Evergreen Baptist Church
2005 Coolspring Ave.
Trail Creek, Indiana 46360

Funeral Service
February 15, 2024

1:00 PM
Evergreen Baptist Church
2005 Coolspring Ave.
Trail Creek, Indiana 46360


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