Bill Benton Obituary, A Legacy of Broadcast and Community Service, Chapin, SC

Bill Benton Obituary, A Legacy of Broadcast and Community Service, Chapin, SC

Chapin, SC – July 27, 2023

The community of Chapin, South Carolina, is mourning the loss of Billy Graves (Bill) Benton, an esteemed broadcaster and dedicated community servant. On Thursday, July 27, 2023, at the age of 88, Bill Benton passed away peacefully at his Chapin home, surrounded by his loving family. His life was one of extraordinary accomplishments, spanning from his successful broadcasting career to his extensive involvement in community organizations.

Early Life and Broadcasting Career

Bill Benton was born on April 26, 1935, in Clarksville, Tennessee, to Hazel Frances Graves Benton Huston and James William Benton, Jr. He graduated from West End High School in Nashville and later attended Furman University before earning his degree from The Tennessee School of Broadcasting. In 1953, he married his high school sweetheart, Sallie Lou Smith, with whom he shared 69 wonderful years of marriage.

His career in broadcasting took him to various radio stations and television channels, including WLFA Radio in LaFayette, Georgia, and WENO Radio in Nashville, Tennessee. Eventually settling in Columbia, South Carolina, he joined WIS Radio in 1963, where he hosted the popular “Bill Benton Talk Show” and the Thursday night “Ghost Stories” program.

A Trusted Voice in South Carolina

During his broadcasting tenure, Bill Benton became a public forum for the Midlands of South Carolina, providing a platform for important discussions and giving voices to various individuals and experts. Over the years, he interviewed governors, senators, representatives, and notable personalities from diverse fields. His show’s diversity showcased experts, authors, entertainers, and community leaders, emphasizing the importance of connecting with his listeners on critical topics.

A Life of Service and Honors

Bill Benton’s commitment to service extended beyond broadcasting. He served in the Air National Guard and Reserves, and his involvement in community organizations was extensive. He taught Sunday School classes, served as the Boy Scout Master, and was the District Chairman for the Central South Carolina Council of the Boy Scouts of America.

His dedication to community service earned him numerous awards and recognitions, including “The United States and South Carolina Wildlife Federation Award for South Carolina Broadcaster of the Year Communications Award.” Additionally, he received honors from various organizations, such as the Mental Health Association, Palmetto Girls State, and The Air Force ROTC.

Cherished Legacy and Family

Bill Benton’s legacy lives on through his loving family. He is survived by his wife, Sallie Lou Smith, and their four children: James W. “Bill” Benton, Charles Earl Benton, Sr., Frances Louellen Benton, and Beth Benton Gantt. He also leaves behind numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren, who will forever cherish his memory.

Funeral Arrangements

A visitation will be held at Temples-Halloran Funeral Home on Wednesday, August 2, 2023, from 3 pm to 6 pm. The funeral service will take place at Riverland Hills Baptist Church on Thursday, August 3, 2023, at 11:00 a.m., officiated by The Reverend Bill Haselden. Interment will follow at Bush River Memorial Gardens.

Bill Benton’s life of service and dedication will be deeply missed by the Chapin community and beyond. In this time of grief, friends, family, and listeners come together to honor the remarkable legacy of a man who touched countless lives through his broadcasting and community contributions.

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