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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Derek J. Benton

Derek J. Benton, 20, of Green Bay, passed away unexpectedly on January 3, 2014 while vacationing in Colorado with friends. Derek was born on August 14, 1993 in Green Bay to Jasen Benton and Stacie Witt.

 Derek was attending the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, where he studied Sports and Entertainment Management, after graduating from Ashwaubenon High School in 2012.

A bright star among us, Derek lived life to its fullest. He loved the phrase Carpe Diem and showed his commitment to seizing the day in the way he lived his life. Derek loved adventure – whether traveling abroad and experiencing new cultures or playing king of the raft at his family’s Red Cabin up north – and was devoted to helping others, volunteering with the Special Olympics throughout high school, and most recently working for the Boys & Girls Club in La Crosse. He was also passionate about sports – he was a fervent Packer fan and a talented athlete who wrestled and played baseball and football.

Derek grew from a fun-loving and goofy child into an incredibly social, kind and loving young man with an infectious personality. He spent every opportunity he could with his close-knit family, countless friends and girlfriend of nearly five years (Abby Steavpack). Derek touched so many lives – he was deeply loved and will be greatly missed. He was a spiritual man who believed deeply in his favorite verse, John 3:16: For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Derek is survived by his loving parents, Jasen Benton and Stacie Witt of Green Bay; his brother Zac and his sister Paige. He also leaves a large and loving extended family, including grandparents Jack and Loretta Witt, Wayne (Andrea) Benton, Jennie (George) Bolender-Benton, great-grandmother, June Witt, aunts and uncles Marni (Tee) Sims, Nicole (Latrick) Whiters, David (Kim) Benton, James Benton, Julie (Lance) Parve, Tim (May) Benton, Marcella (Philip) Rogers, Charissa (Doug) Kappler, Anna (Bob) Behnke, Charity (Michael) McCarthy, Mary (Tim) Wilmot, Josh (Marisa) Benton; and first cousins Mya Whiters, Maliya Whiters, Jordyn Whiters, Derek’s Godson Isaya Whiters, Jackson Sims, Beth (Brian) Benton-Quick, Nathan (Kari) Benton, Jeremiah (Erica) Neptune, Kaitlyn Neptune-Benton, Morgan Neptune-Benton, Jeremiah Parve, Jennifer (Scott) Carlile, Josiah Parve, Devlin Benton, Alexandra Rogers, Rachel Kappler, Alyssa Kappler, Hallie Kappler, Elisabeth Behnke, Abigail Behnke, Emma Behnke, Isaac Behnke, Stella Behnke, Owen Behnke, Jacob McCarthy, Emily McCarthy, Max McCarthy and Caleb Benton.

He was preceded in death by cousins Amanda Runke and Jacob Kappler.

Funeral arrangements are being handled by Rhodes-Charapata Funeral Home in Crivitz, Wisconsin. The celebration of Derek’s life will take place on Thursday, January 9 at Green Bay Community Church 600 Cardinal Ln. Please feel free to dress casual (green and gold were Derek’s favorite colors).  The visitation will be from 3:00 – 6:30 p.m. and the funeral will be at 7:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider donations to the Ashwaubenon High School memorial fund that has been set up in Derek’s name.


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