Max Edward Benitz Jr., age 72, passed away on Thursday at his home near Prosser, WA on July 11, 2019 surrounded by his family. Max was born May 21, 1947 in Sunnyside, WA the son of Max Edward Sr. and Marie Fern Benitz. He received his early education in Prosser graduated from Prosser High School with the class of 1965. Max furthered his education by attending California Polytechnic in San Luis Obispo, California for two years. On March 17, 1973 Max Edward Benitz and Kathie Dell were married in the Messiah Lutheran Church in Prosser, Washington. After their marriage they made their home and farmed on the Roza. Max served as Benton County Port Commissioner for eight years and Benton County Commissioner for 16 years, was the caretaker of the McWhorter Ranch after Dick McWhorter’s passing and then continued as caretakers for the new owner’s the Gebbers. He served his country in the United States Marine Corps. serving with the Marine Military Police in Da Nang, Vietnam. Max enjoyed hunting and fishing, his time as a driver with his horse drawn carriages, and doing weddings. He especially enjoyed his trip to Japan with Hap Smith. Max was a proud member of the VFW. Max is survived by his spouse Kathie Benitz of Prosser, WA. Children Carl Benitz (Nancy) of West Richland, WA. and Nancy Rose of Prosser, WA., his grandchildren Colton, Abby, Natalie, Gracie, Katie and one great grandchild Cheyenne. He is also survived by his siblings Norma June Fortner of Pasco, WA. Eileen Wagner of Houston TX, Alvin Benitz of Montana and Ron Benitz of Benton City, WA. Max is preceded in death by his parents Max and Marie Benitz Sr., his uncle David Benitz, and cousin Byron Benitz, along with his father and mother-in-law John and Nadine Dell.
Funeral service will be held on Friday, July 19, 2019 at 1:00 p.m. at the Messiah Lutheran Church in Prosser, WA. Burial will follow at the East Prosser Cemetery with Military Honors. In lieu of flowers donation may be made to the Max E. Benitz Endowed Memorial Scholarship Fund or the Friends of Max E. Benitz Library Fund. Please write checks out to either fund and send them to WSUTC Attention Kelly Gabel, 2710 Crimson Way, Richland, WA. 99354 or directly donate online at https://TriCities.wsu.edu/give/
Those wishing to sign Max’s online memorial book may do so at www.funeralhomesmith.com Smith Funeral Home in care of arrangements.