Former Hennepin County Sheriff's Radio Dispatcher Has Passed

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Memory Capacity
Apr 29, 2006
Probably few here have been around long enough to know of a Hennepin County Sheriff's Radio dispatcher by the name of Jack Benver, also known as Father Hennepin. He has passed and here is a bit about him:

Sergeant Jack Benver

In Loving Memory Of
Retired Hennepin County Deputy Sheriff
March 17, 1927 - June 14, 2016

John 'Jack' Benver, age 89 of Maple Grove and McAllen Texas, passed away on Flag Day, June 14, 2016 in McAllen, Texas where he went each fall to escape Minnesota's winters. Jack is a retired Hennepin County Deputy Sheriff who faithfully served the residents of Hennepin County under their administrations of former Sheriffs Ed Ryan and Don Omodt as well as current Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek.

During his service as a Hennepin County Deputy Sheriff which began on May 16, 1955, Jack worked in the Patrol Division, Communications Division and Court Services Division. Jack was promoted to Sergeant by Sheriff Don Omodt and he served as a Supervisor in those Divisions as well as a mentor for those younger Deputies seeking to advance their Law Enforcement Careers.
Jack And Pat Benver
Married October 25, 1952

Jack is proceeded in death by wife, Patricia, and son, Joseph; and is survived by his wife of 3 years, Silvia; his children Melanie McDonald (Mark); Melinda Benver, John Benver Jr. (Renee), Claudia Lehtonen (Skip) and Jamie Benver (Nancy); 11 grandchildren; 4 great grandchildren; other relatives, active and retired Law Enforcement Officers as well as many friends.
I had the very great pleasure of working alongside of Jack when we were both assigned to the Communications Division of the Sheriff's Office. He was a 'fun guy' with a quick wit that always 'kept things under control' no matter how hectic everything may have gotten. Of his many very favorable characteristics, was the experience that Jack gained, for many years, as a Patrol Deputy with a massive, invaluable amount of knowledge of all of Hennepin County, from Dayton to St. Bonifacius and everywhere in between.

As a result, all of the Police Officers, other Deputies, Firefighters and Volunteers benefited from his knowledge and experience.

To Hear My Internet Show 'Tribute' To
This Warm & Wonderful Person,
Please Click On The Audio
Control Below.
A few years ago, I went to visit Jack at his home in Maple Grove. What ANOTHER great and wonderful time we had "Walking Down Memory Lane" and reminiscing about all of the great dimes we had together during our frienship that existed for 55 YEARS !!

Among many other things that you'll learn from listening to my Internet Show that I recorded on June 18, 2016, you'll learn that my ONLY REGRET that I will ever regarding Jack is that all of those 'plans' we made to get together for 'another lunch, breakfast or dinner sometime', never were totally fulfilled. Sadly, and I'm ashamed to admit it, the last time we 'went out to eat' together was at the Perkins Restaurant in Maple Grove twenty some years ago.

Sure; we yacked on the phone frequently but that's not anything like a face-toface meeting. Somehow, both of use, even though we've both been retired for quite some time, were always 'too busy' to 'stop for a moment' and do something that would be meaningful to both of us; like meet at the Perkins in Maple Grove or the Hilltop Cafe in Excelsior. We even talked about me flying to Texas to visit him for a few days.

Oh, how I wish, now, that we hadn't been 'so busy' !!I But there's a 'lesson to be learned' here: DON"T 'put off' getting together with a long time friend and/or acquaintance. Pick up the phone NOW and give them a call to arrange 'getting together'. DON'T PUT IT OFF !!

I know I wish I had done that; I'm sure Jack wishes we'd BOTH done that. Sadly, we can't 'go back'; it's too late for us; it's NOT to late for you.
Did you know that before Jack began his 'Police Career' back the early 1950's (in Wayzata), that he worked as a 'Carny'' (carnival worker) ? Here's a picture of him manning the 'Tilt-A-Whirl'...........

When I visited him at his home in Maple Grove a few years ago, i quickly learned that his 'talent for entertaining' hadn't diminshed. And he was 'Classic Jack' all the way. If I didn't know better, I would have thought we had both regressed to the late 1970's or early '80's.

I was 'treated' to his performance of (many) selections using his keyboard talents which he had 'honed' over the years. (Did you know that he even regularly brought his accordian to work with him at 'Radio' when he worked the 'night shift' ??)

That's why you heard so many 'Car Calling' ?? on the air.

It seems to me that I recorded my entire visit with him when I was there that day. Now, I just gotta find the cassettes I recorded when I visited him at his Maple Grove home !

Suddenly, they've taken on a whole nerw importance and sentiment.
March 17, 1927 - June 14, 2016

Here's a picture of Jack in his uniform that was taken for (I believe)
his Sheriff's Office Official Identification Card:
I first met Jack in the late summer of 1961 when I was just out of high school and working at the Wayzata Rexall Drug in Wayzata (Minnesota). Jack was assigned to the Patrol Division at that time and would stop in, occasionally, for lunch while working the 'day shift'.

His demeanor and quick wit made him a very popular person with whomever he came into contact. On the numerous occasions when I would 'ride along' with him while he was on duty, never once did I ever see him get angry, lose his temper or or be disrespectful to anyone, 'law breakers' included. (He will AWAYS be remembered as saying, "The main thing to remember is to not get excited' !!)

Jack was the epitome of a 'cop's cop'. It is solely because of my meeting Jack in my 'formative years' just after high school, that I made the decision that I wanted Law Enforcement as my 'lifetime career'. Jack helped make that happen by encouraging me to join the Hennepin County Sheriff's Emergency Squad in 1966.

A year later, an opening for a 'full time' Policeman came up in Maple Plain; twenty miles west of Minneapolis. Jack stated that he would write a Letter of Recommendation about me to the City Council there. At 24 years of age, standing 6' - 1" tall and weighing only 135 pounds, I began my very impressive, rewarding and stellar Law Enforcement career which I enjoyed for eighteen and one-half years. (See original letter below!!)

And I owe it all to one great guy; a dedicated Law Enforcement Professional guy named Jack Benver.

I made a CD for Jack with of a 'bunch of stuff' that involved him,
me & us and sent it to him.. In return, Jack sent me the
note below along with the pictures shown above.

For Everything That You Did To Help Me Attain My Lifetime Career In Law Enforcement And Help Make Me The Person That I Am Today !!
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