Benny T. Mach, 92, long time resident of Ashwaubenon, passed away at his home Thursday May 28th, 2020 following a long and at times challenging but relentless battle with cancer and dementia. He was born January 14, 1928 in Antigo WI to the late Wm and Cecelia Mach.
Benny had an unwavering deep devotion to God, family, and country.
In 1945 he joined the Army. Stationed in Korea he attained the rank of Sgt as a member of the 6th Signal Company, was awarded the World War II victory medal, the Army Occupation Medal and honorably discharged in 1947. Upon returning home he married the love of his life Rita (Theisen) daughter of the late Peter and Loretta Theisen June 17th 1950 at St. Johns Catholic Church in Antigo. She preceded him in death January 21, 2020.
They moved from Antigo to Green Bay in 1954 to continue his 40-year career with the Chicago North Western RR retiring May 19, 1990. Hardworking, dedicated, with a passion for helping others, he began a second career in 1993 at Valley View Elementary School as a substitute noon duty supervisor and in 1995 became a crossing guard for the Ashwaubenon Public Safety Department on the corner of Marvelle and Ridge Road retiring in 2018. His sense of responsibility, character, and passion for caring and helping others awarded him the recognition of crossing guard of the year in 2005 and 2009. However, it wasn’t the job or recognition that he so loved, it was the true joy, honor, and privilege it gave him to serve the children, their parents, and the community of Ashwaubenon. He became known as and was called “Grandpa” by young and old alike often referring to it as “his shingle”. He cherished another tradition wearing costumes at his corner on special occasions, from a child on the first day of school, cupid on valentines day, the Easter bunny, turkey at Thanksgiving, Santa at Christmas and so many more always being greeted with waves, smiles and honking car horns. He had a love for animals especially dogs and always had a treat for them. It was a daily routine for many owners to walk their dogs by his corner and recognizing him and his white truck the dogs would often “drag” their owners to him for a treat. Many times there would be people with their dogs in cars that would stop to say hello so Ben could give their dogs a treat and often times Ben would be given treats in return.
Ben was a member of the Ashwaubenon VFW Post 10244 for many years. He served as Post Chaplain attending Memorial Day ceremonies at Veterans Park in Ashwaubenon leading participants in prayer and always closing with a rendition of God Bless America.
He enjoyed reading about and often quoted Will Rodgers. One of his favorites was “befriend a dog and you have a friend for life, befriend a man and you never know when he’s going to kick you”.
Benny had a smile and handshake for anyone he’d meet and would always offer a “humble” thank you for well wishes and anything people did for him or gave to him. He had a book of “1001’’ jokes, one for almost every occasion and loved to tell them. He was often known to start a conversation with a joke and if he didn’t initiate one people would often ask “Ben, you got a joke for me”? One of his favorites, “what did the monkey say when he backed into the lawn mower? It won’t be long now!!!
He enjoyed eating out with family and friends, Friday fish frys, playing cards, hunting and fishing up north and in Montana, fishing on Shawano Lake with his children, snowmobiling with his son in Minocqua, spending every minute possible with his grandchildren, trips with Rita to visit their daughter while in the Air Force and the highlight of his love for country was the trip he and his daughter took to Washington DC on an Old Glory Honor Flight .
He is survived by one daughter Barbara, one son Robert both of Green Bay and two very special grandchildren Christine and Kevin (special friend Ashley).
He is survived by three sisters and one brother, Karen (Norman) Donohue of Visalia California, Bernadine (William) Kwiecien of Keil WI, Elizabeth Drexler of Waupaca WI, and Bernard (Sandy) Mach of Waukesha, WI , sister-in-law Eleanor (Carl) Hoerman, brother-in-law Edward Theisen both of Antigo, nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by two sisters and one brother, Barbara, Marie, and Philip Mach, six sisters-in-law and six brothers-in-law; Marie(Tony) Hallada, Virginia(Jim) Drexler, Rosemary(Larry) Drexler, Raymond Drexler, Florian Theisen, Luella and Joan, LaVern(Mary) Theisen , Eugene (Sue) Theisen, nieces and nephews.
Public visitation will be held from 9:00 AM until 12:00 PM Noon on Saturday, June 20, 2020 at Nativity of Our Lord Parish Green Bay 2270 S Oneida St. Green Bay, WI. Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 12:00 PM Noon, officiated by Rev. Mike Ingold and Deacon John Bundra with Military Honors to follow and committal at Allouez Catholic Cemetery Mausoleum.
Diocesan guidelines regarding Covid -19 will be followed with social distancing and wearing of masks advised but not required. Expressions of sympathy, memories and photos may be shared with Benny’s family at www.lyndahl.com.
The family wishes to express their sincere gratitude to Father Mike Ingold, Deacons John Bundra and Mike Dabeck, our Nativity Parish family, Jackie Dunlap and fellow members of the Ashwaubenon Public Safety Department and all the special neighbors and friends for all the prayers, love, and support. A special thank you to Drs Jason Hoppe and Adam Liss, Ben’s Bellin Cancer Radiation and Unity Hospice teams for their devotion, care and support.
Benny had a heart of “gold”. He loved so many and many loved him.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made to
Nativity Of Our Lord Parish
Ashwaubenon Public Safety Crossing Guard /Canine Unit
VFW Post 10244
Mom and Dad,
I thank God for you, for your endless love and support since the day I was born, for ALWAYS believing in me, standing by me, and encouraging me. You shared in my successes and failures. I would not be the woman I am today if not for you. You were always there for me. I made a promise to you to be there for you and take care of you until God called you home and I will forever be grateful to Him for helping me and allowing me to keep that promise.
Oh, one thing mom, I was and always will be “Daddy’s Little Girl”.
Oh, and dad, mom is waiting at the “Pearly Gates” - hope you can spell “CZECHOSLOVAKIA”!
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