About Our Founder
Glenn E. Benckendorf (1929-2020)
Glenn E. Benckendorf, 90, of Punta Gorda, Florida, formerly of Morton, Illinois, went to be with our Lord on August 5, 2020. Born August 25, 1929, in Streator, Illinois, to Lloyd and Mary Benckendorf, he grew up during the Great Depression and World War II. As a youth, Glenn worked in brick kilns, in the family diner, and as a railroad truck laborer.
Glenn decided as a teenager to enlist in the Navy at the end of World War II. He served on the USS Iowa and USS Columbus in the Pacific, stopping at various Pacific islands, China, and Japan as well as sailing the West Coast of the U.S. before being honorably discharged. Using the G.I. Bill, he graduated from Eureka College, where he met and married N. Jean Wilson. He then attended Washington University for his law degree.
Settling in Morton, he worked briefly as an insurance adjuster before practicing law in Pekin, then in Peoria, before founding Benckendorf & Benckendorf, P.C. in 1981. He practiced law for over 50 years, started a legal aid office in Pekin and frequently handled pro bono cases for Prairie State Legal Services, South Side Mission and other organizations. In addition to his law practice, Glenn was an entrepreneur, owning and operating several businesses, and was affectionately called “Papa” by many of the staff. He served for many years on the Board of Directors of Morton Community Bank.
He and Jean had three children, David (Dr. Sandra) Benckendorf of Berlin NH, Kathy Gallo of Sarasota, FL, and James (Jayne) of Morton, IL.
Glenn later married Joan Baseleon in 2013. They divided their year between winters in Punta Gorda, near his sister and one brother, time in Morton, and summers on Vashon Island, Washington, Joan’s home.
Glenn was a Mason, past Commander of American Legion Post 318 in Morton, President of the Morton Jaycees, Sgt. at Arms of the National Jaycees, board member of the Central Illinois Boy Scouts, Chairman of the Morton United Methodist Men, and served on other church committees as a long-time member of the Morton United Methodist Church. Upon moving to Punta Gorda, he regularly attended the First United Methodist Church.
Glenn was an avid golfer and loved to fish with his parents, siblings, and their families in Minnesota, then Manitoba. He also enjoyed scuba diving and was a private pilot and flew all over the United States. His love of travel also took him around the world, including Europe, Japan, and China, and for many years travelled annually to New Orleans to take in jazz clubs.
Glenn is survived by his loving wife, Joan, his children, seven grandchildren, and four great- grandchildren.