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Van Russell Bensett
February 20, 1965 ~ July 14, 2022 (age 57) 57 Years Old
39 Trees, Flowers, or Condolences have been shared with support of Van's family - View on Tribute Wall
Van Russell Bensett, 57, passed away unexpectedly on Thursday, July 14, 2022, at Advocate Trinity Hospital in Chicago.
Van is survived by his parents, Lewis and Peggy Bensett; his wife, Saira Perea-Bensett; his children; Olivia, Lewis, Maya, and Van Adam Bensett; and his sister, Amy Bensett. He is preceded in death by his brother, Guy Bensett; and both his maternal grandparents, Harold and Elizabeth Van Buren, and paternal grandparents, Russell and Barbara Bensett.
Van was born in Riverside, California on February 20, 1965, to Lewis and Peggy Bensett. He graduated from Alma College in 1987 with a Bachelor’s degree in History and would later go on to receive a Master’s in Theology. In 1992 Van moved to Chicago where he met Saira while working for United Neighborhood Organization (UNO). On October 18, 1995, he and Saira were wed and together raised four children for nearly 27 years.
Van was a devoted father and enjoyed taking his kids on all his weekly excursions around the Midwest. He loved traveling whenever he could and taught his children the importance of experiencing new places and people. Some of his favorite places included northern Michigan, Costa Rica, and Hawaii. He was an avid reader and could always be found with a book in hand. Van was a religious man, who dedicated his life to others. He made a career in youth mentorship and led the Life Directions’ Chicago branch. He wholeheartedly believed that by providing youth with a platform to express and learn about themselves, a fundamentally positive change would eventually materialize within his community.