When Gator 990 was chartered, an energetic former Navy chaplain was the ideal choice as detachment Chaplain. Ben Kinard attended all meetings and most events. He used to sell watermelons on his own outside of Publix and donate the money to the detachment back when our budget was still coming out of our wallets.
Our friend Ben passed away on March 16th at 90 years old. Ben is affectionately remembered for his recital of patriot and inspirational poems. He was sometimes a little long-winded because he was so passionate and we enjoyed his constantly positive outlook on everything.
Ben was very proud of his brother who, as a Navy dive-bomber pilot, was awarded the Navy Cross at 21 years old in 1944 for bravery in the Pacific. His brother was killed in a training accident one year later.
Having grown up in Lake City, Ben was proud to attend the dedication of the Veteran Domiciliary in Lake City, to Cpl Robert H. Jenkins Jr., USMC, Medal of Honor recipient, in 1999.FROM THE GAINESVILLE SUN:
Chester 'Ben' Bennett Kinard age 90, passed away on Monday, March 16, 2015.
He was born in Moultrie, Georgia on March 12, 1925, and grew up in Lake City, Florida. Ben attended Columbia High School before joining the U.S. Navy and proudly served our country during World War II. Ben continued his education at Gordon Military College in Barnesville, Georgia and also attended UF and FSU. Ben was an independent contractor involved in various aspects of the produce industry. He is survived by his wife of fifty nine years, Dorothy Bailey Kinard, daughters Lori (Richard) Thawley, Marcia Hall and son Monte Kinard. Ben is also survived by seven grandchildren and three great grandchildren. Ben enjoyed volunteering with the Marine Corp League where he served as Chaplain for many years.
He enjoyed spending time with family and friends and was an avid Gator fan. Ben will always be remembered for his captivating smile, energetic personality and zest for life.
Funeral services were held on Thursday, March 19th at Milam Funeral Home where Commandant Jim Yakubsin and other members attended.