Stephen Gay Benton
Stephen Gay Benton
  • October 15, 1930 - September 27, 2017
  • New Orleans, Louisiana

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Stephen Gay Benton, known as “Buck” to his dear friends, passed away on Wednesday, September 27, 2017 at the age of 86 from the blood disorder known as aplastic anemia. He was born in New Orleans on October 15, 1930 and was a life-long resident of the city. His beloved wife of fifty-six years, Constance “Connie” Brown Benton, predeceased him as did his parents, Herbert Peyton Benton, Jr. and Katherine Febiger Glenny Benton, his brother, Lucius Glenny Benton, and his step-mother, Grace Hammons Benton.

Steve is survived by his children Stephen Gay Benton, Jr., Frank James Brown Benton, Bush Gresham Benton (Charlotte Arnemann), and Lisette Katherine Benton Overby (John Overby), and his grandchildren, Stephen Gay Benton, III, Constance Gresham Brooke Overby, John Carl Overby, Jr., Katherine Coll Benton and William Bush Benton. He is also survived by his brothers, Herbert Peyton Benton, III and George Lea Benton (Susan Simmons), and his very close companion of three years, Beth Childress Sheridan.

Steve was educated in local public schools and joined the naval reserve during his junior year while attending Alcee Fortier High School. He went on to attend Tulane University where he pledged Kappa Alpha fraternity. In the fall of 1950, he was called to active duty during the Korean War. He saw combat while serving in the naval amphibious forces in both North and South Korea. Following his discharge in 1952, he returned to New Orleans and began his career in construction.

After working for several local contractors, in 1960, he founded Stephen G. Benton Company, Inc. General Contractors and built numerous custom residences before turning his attention to a general line of commercial endeavors such as schools, churches, office buildings, military projects and industrial plant work.

In 1967, he incorporated Southport, Inc. and went on to enter the offshore industry market after building a fabrication yard on the Harvey Canal. There his firm built living quarters, generator buildings and a wide variety of other components for the offshore industry, serving virtually all of the major oil companies worldwide in such diverse areas as the Arabian Sea, the South China Sea, Australia, Africa, South America, the West Coast and the Gulf of Mexico.

Steve served as president of the Construction Industry Association of New Orleans in 1978 and the Harvey Canal Industrial Association in 1992. He was honored as a life member of the latter.

Steve held memberships in several organizations among which were the Boston Club and the New Orleans Country Club.

Known as “Ga” to his grandchildren, he took a very active role in their lives. He loved to help others and could fix anything from electrical work to plumbing to carpentry. He liked to garden, to travel and he was particularly fond of golf, which he enjoyed with his sons and friends throughout the United States and abroad. Some of his fondest memories were those of playing golf with his sons.

He will be remembered by his children and grandchildren as a man of incredible honesty, strength, dependability and generosity.

Father Fred Devall of St. Martin’s Episcopal Church will perform a brief service in front of the fountain inside All Saints Mausoleum in Metairie Cemetery on Friday, September 29, 2017 at 4pm. In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to the charity of your choice.