He was born in Clinton, Ind., Oct. 12, 1936, to Andrew and Lilly (Baysinger) Benson.
He retired in 1998 from Indiana Gas after 25 years of service.
He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Linda (Chopson) Benson, daughter Kimmala Vanatti and son Rocky Benson, both of Terre Haute. Other survivors include his grandchildren Shad Vanatti (Stacy Burkitt), Mike Hoffman (Vickie), Cari Oakes (Don), Broc Leslie (Rachel), Marjorie Hoffman, Hannah, Monique and Dalton Benson. Great-grandchildren include Kali, Pete, Hailee, Brennon and Chase Vanatti, Haley and Raley Oakes, Kayla and Eli Burkitt. Siblings are Jack (Louise) Benson, Mary Lee Sanquenetti, Raymond (Iris) Benson, Jim (Pat) Benson, Shirley (Chuck) Kelsheimer and Wanda Carty.
He is preceded in death by his parents, sister Linda Gates, daughters Sheri Leslie and Terri Hoffman, and son Pete Benson and grandson Jirimy Vanatti.
Robert loved to hunt, fish, drive his classic cars in parades, spending time with his friends, family and especially his great-grandchildren and transporting children to the Shriners Hospital.
He was a 32nd degree Mason, a member of Scottish Rite Valley of Terre Haute, and the Zorah Shrine, where he was president of the antique auto club.
A memorial service will take place from 1-3 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 12, at the Zorah Shrine, 420 N. 7th St., Terre Haute.
In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that all donations be made to Shriners Childrens Hospital.
Callahan-DeBaun Funeral Home assisted with arrangements.
Online condolences may be left at www.callahanfuneralhome.com.