Jose Benson, SHS Grad, Dies in Florida at Age 66

Jose Benson

Jose Benson, 66, of Tampa, Florida, passed away on February 6, 2021, due to complications from Covid-19.

Born in El Tigre, Venezuela, he moved to the United States in 1959, when the family settled in Ridgefield, Hockinson and Battle Ground, Washington.

In 1970 the family moved to Sitka where he graduated from Sitka High School in 1972. He was active in SHS sports including baseball, wrestling and cross country. After graduation he received his associates degree from Northwest Nazarene College in Nampa, Idaho, and later received his bachelor’s degree from National Louis University.

In 1984 he married his wife Betzaida and they moved to Tampa, where he worked for many years for JPMorgan Chase. After leaving that company, he started his own insurance agency, Compass Insurance. 

He was an active member of Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church where he was a part of the men’s group, choir, livestream video team and leadership team. He loved serving the Lord by serving the homeless people of Tampa.

Jose will be remembered for his love of the Lord, genuine kindness, and charming and funny personality. 

Jose is survived by his wife of 36 years, Betzaida, son Brent, 35, and daughter Brenda, 27.

He is also survived by siblings, Vilma Perales (Freddy), Julie Hames (Randal), Iris Uchytil (Rod), Ivan Benson (Nilda) and Roy-Parker Benson;  and many nieces and nephews.

He is predeceased by his father, Ralph Benson, mother Carmen Benson and older brother Hector Benson.

A small funeral was held on Thursday, February 11, 2021, followed by  burial near his mother’s grave at Rest Haven Memorial Park, Tampa.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church, 6100 Memorial Highway, Tampa, FL. 33615 or to a charity of choice.

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At a Glance

(updated 1-12-22)

By Sentinel Staff

The state Department of Health and Social Services has posted the following update on the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Alaska as of 11:55 am Wednesday.

New cases as of Friday: 2,512

Total statewide – 172,329

Total (cumulative) deaths – 955

Total (cumulative) hospitalizations – 3,337

Current Hospitalizations – 103

To visit the Alaska DHSS Corona Response dashboard website click here.

COVID in Sitka

The COVID alert rate for Sitka is “high,” based on 153 new COVID cases in the past 7 days. Case statistics are as of Sunday.

New cases in Sitka – 34

Cases in last 7 days – 153

Cumulative Sitka cases – 1,531

Deceased (cumulative) – 6

The local case data are from the City of Sitka website.





January 2002

Classified ads, Rentals: 3-bdrm. house on the beach. $900; 3-bdrm duplex, washer/dryer $945; Great downtown house, 2 bdrms., 2 baths, furnished,
W/D, hardwood floors $850; 2-bdrm. roomy apartment $945..


January 1972

The City and Borough Assembly Tuesday approved an ordinance establishing a transportation committee to advise the assembly and promote transportation services for the municipality. Members are Cecil McClain, Ray Mabey, Clarence Kramer,
Dick Cushing and Burt Hansen.