Neil Benson Obituary, Death – Neil Benson, a founding member of the Philly Dumpster Divers, died this morning, and his sisters have sent us this message. “It is with deep sadness and broken hearts that we inform you that our dear “little” brother Neil, 69, passed away early this morning, January 18. Photographer (Jagger, Springfield, Ormandy, Rizzo, MOVE bombing, Miss America, Nixon, Three Mile Island, etc. ); Artist (lamps, awards, license plate furniture, typewriter key jewelry, tin can frames); co-founder of the Philadelphia Dumpster Divers (he had perfect attendance at every monthly meeting for 32 years! ); Educator and mentor; community activist, son of Frances and Jacob; storyteller; beloved cousin; friend; collector (1939 World’s Fair, One of his favorite pieces of clothing was our father’s Eagle Scout sash, complete with patches.
Neil’s favorite dishes would be devoid of Michelin stars. Chubby’s cheesesteaks (preferably consumed on the way to or from Thrift store excursions), Primo’s hoagies, burgers, and fries were his favorites. That appears to cover all four food groups, correct? He annoyed his sisters and drove his parents insane. He was loud, argumentative, stubborn, and constantly interrupted. He trashed some of his early Volkswagen Beatles, one of which had the door only stay open if the button was pushed. Nothing made him happier than standing in front of an audience and entertaining them with stories and jokes, or making amusing little gifts for people. He was generous with his time and even with his limited financial resources.
Neil had the biggest heart, and though he suffered from depression at times, he mostly lived his life fully and joyfully, delighting in the company of neighbors, family, Divers, doctors, nurses, friends, grocery store clerks, and the mailman. He charmed them all with a hearty laugh, a twinkle in his eye, a sly smile, and a funny story. We are eternally grateful to Neil for being our brother and will miss him forever. He was both difficult and impossible to live with. Neil donated his body to science. We’re sure he’ll be chiming in on whatever teaching discussions they have! There will be no funeral, only a memorial service at a later date.
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