In Loving Memory Of
Retired Hennepin County Deputy Sheriff
March 17, 1927 - June 14, 2016
John 'Jack' Benver, age 89 of Maple Grove and McAllen Texas, passed away on Flag Day, June 14, 2016 in McAllen, Texas where he went each fall to escape Minnesota's winters. Jack is a retired Hennepin County Deputy Sheriff who faithfully served the residents of Hennepin County under their administrations of former Sheriffs Ed Ryan and Don Omodt as well as current Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek.

During his service as a Hennepin County Deputy Sheriff which began on May 16, 1955, Jack worked in the Patrol Division, Communications Division and Court Services Division. Jack was promoted to Sergeant by Sheriff Don Omodt and he  served as a Supervisor in those Divisions as well as a mentor for those younger Deputies seeking to advance their Law Enforcement Careers.
Jack And Pat Benver
Married October 25, 1952
Jack is proceeded in death by wife, Patricia, and son, Joseph; and is survived by his wife of 3 years, Silvia; his children Melanie McDonald (Mark); Melinda Benver, John Benver Jr. (Renee), Claudia Lehtonen (Skip) and Jamie Benver (Nancy); 11 grandchildren; 4 great grandchildren; other relatives, active and retired Law Enforcement Officers as well as many friends.
I had the very great pleasure of working alongside of Jack when we were both assigned to the Communications Division of the Sheriff's Office. He was a 'fun guy' with a quick wit that always 'kept things under control' no matter how hectic everything may have gotten. Of his many very favorable characteristics, was the experience that Jack gained, for many years, as a Patrol Deputy with a massive, invaluable amount of knowledge of all of Hennepin County, from Dayton to St. Bonifacius and everywhere in between.

As a result, all of the Police Officers, other Deputies, Firefighters and Volunteers benefited from his knowledge and experience.
To Hear My Internet Show 'Tribute' To
This Warm & Wonderful Person,
Please Click On The Audio
Control Below.
A few years ago, I went to visit Jack at his home in Maple Grove. What ANOTHER great and wonderful time we had "Walking Down Memory Lane" and reminiscing about all of the great dimes we had together during our frienship that existed for 55 YEARS !!

Among many other things that you'll learn from listening to my Internet Show that I recorded on June 18, 2016, you'll learn that my ONLY REGRET that I will ever regarding Jack is that all of those 'plans' we made to get together for 'another lunch, breakfast or dinner sometime', never were totally fulfilled. Sadly, and I'm ashamed to admit it, the last time we 'went out to eat' together was at the Perkins Restaurant in Maple Grove twenty some years ago.

Sure; we yacked on the phone frequently but that's not anything like a face-toface meeting. Somehow, both of use, even though we've both been retired for quite some time, were always 'too busy' to 'stop for a moment' and do something that would be meaningful to both of us; like meet at the Perkins in Maple Grove or the Hilltop Cafe in Excelsior. We even talked about me flying to Texas to visit him for a few days.

Oh, how I wish, now, that we hadn't been 'so busy' !!I But there's a 'lesson to be learned' here: DON"T 'put off' getting together with a long time friend and/or acquaintance. Pick up the phone NOW and give them a call to arrange 'getting together'. DON'T PUT IT OFF !!

I know I wish I had done that; I'm sure Jack wishes we'd BOTH done that. Sadly, we can't 'go back'; it's too late for us; it's NOT to late for you.
Did you know that before Jack began his 'Police Career' back the early 1950's (in Wayzata), that he worked as a 'Carny'' (carnival worker) ? Here's a picture of him manning the 'Tilt-A-Whirl'...........
When I visited him at his home in Maple Grove a few years ago, i quickly learned that his 'talent for entertaining' hadn't diminshed. And he was 'Classic Jack' all the way. If I didn't know better, I would have thought we had both regressed to the late 1970's or early '80's.

I was 'treated' to his performance of (many) selections using his keyboard talents which he had 'honed' over the years. (Did you know that he even regularly brought his accordian to work with him at 'Radio' when he worked the 'night shift' ??)

That's why you heard so many 'Car Calling' ?? on the air.
It seems to me that I recorded my entire visit with him when I was there that day. Now, I just gotta find the cassettes I recorded when I visited him at his Maple Grove home !

Suddenly, they've taken on a whole nerw importance and sentiment.
March 17, 1927 - June 14, 2016
Here's a picture of Jack in his uniform that was taken for (I believe)
his Sheriff's Office Official Identification Card:
I first met Jack in the late summer of 1961 when I was just out of high school and working at the Wayzata Rexall Drug in Wayzata (Minnesota). Jack was assigned to the Patrol Division at that time and would stop in, occasionally, for lunch while working the 'day shift'.

His demeanor and quick wit made him a very popular person with whomever he came into contact. On the numerous occasions when I would 'ride along' with him while he was on duty, never once did I ever see him get angry, lose his temper or or be disrespectful to anyone, 'law breakers' included. (He will AWAYS be remembered as saying, "The main thing to remember is to not get excited' !!)

Jack was the epitome of a 'cop's cop'. It is solely because of my meeting Jack in my 'formative years' just after high school, that I made the decision that I wanted Law Enforcement as my 'lifetime career'. Jack helped make that happen by encouraging me to join the Hennepin County Sheriff's Emergency Squad in 1966.

A year later, an opening for a 'full time' Policeman came up in Maple Plain; twenty miles west of Minneapolis. Jack stated that he would write a Letter of Recommendation about me to the City Council there. At 24 years of age, standing 6' - 1" tall and weighing only 135 pounds, I began my very impressive, rewarding and stellar Law Enforcement career which I enjoyed for eighteen and one-half years. (See original letter below!!)

And I owe it all to one great guy; a dedicated Law Enforcement Professional guy named Jack Benver.
I made a CD for Jack with of a 'bunch of stuff' that involved him,
me & us and sent it to him.. In return, Jack sent me the
note below along with the pictures shown above.
For Everything That You Did To Help Me Attain My Lifetime Career In Law Enforcement And Help Make Me The Person That I Am Today !!
This Website and/or any of its contents, may NOT be printed, photographed,
reproduced, copied, recorded, altered, modified or adapted, in any manner,
without the prior written consent of the author.


For His Support In The Development Of This Website Designed
To Honor One, Of The Many Loyal, Dedicated and
Professional Members Of The
Here's a copy of the letter that Jack received upon his retirement from the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office after serving the residents of Hennepin County for 32 years.

Unfortunately, the whereabouts of the second page of this letter is unknown.

But you 'get the idea'.
To Return To My

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Many years ago, when  I lived  on  Maxwell Bay, Lake Mtka, I received a phone call from  Sheriff’s Radio where I worked,  telling me that “Sheriff's Radio Dispatch Radio was  being blocked by a  “radio signal”, and  completely “jammed use”. I told the Dispatcher to send the “Patrol Sergeant"  to pick me up..  He sent out Sergeant  Jack  Benver.
Sergeant Benver and I  went  to the Radio  Dispatch Center in Golden Valley.

I went inside the  Radio Station and picked up a small “ Handie  Talkie” . Sergeant Jack and I patrolled the  northeast area (of the county) where the signal  could be  received  on the Handie Talkie; very weak. I  used the “unit” a  a “sniffer” by  controlling  it’s “sensitivity”, and  rotating the unit. By changing directions of the  Squad Car and  the “H T’, the signal  was getting “stronger” , slowly. Within about an  hour  or so, we  traced the  “signal” to  a Sheriff’s car, parked in  North Mpls. not being used, the  “radio inside “ was  turned off, but “came on transmitting by  itself'. I  solved the “problem” by removing the Radio fuse.

Sargent Benver  had many great”experiences in his  “Law  Service years “ ..I enjoyed working with him.

Greetings Dick !!  The  “thoughts” of all those  Sheriff  Deputies we  Worked  with  were great … I spent  many ‘shifts” with  Kenny Bray.
He was a great guy, but passed away to soon. Those  were great Years !!

Lets  “get together” again, sometime !!..   Herman J. Renner

Very sad news, he was one of a kind. Was he with family?

(Making a Website about Jack); I think your idea is  a good one and support it.

Thank you for doing all of this Dick! What a gift you are giving, I can't wait to see the outcome! I will also be tuning in on your website.

Dick, nice tribute for Jack.  What I knew of "old Red" was much as you.  My 'sentence' at Radio was for twenty years, and at least ten were working with Jack. 

Jack was a stand up guy, exactly as you said.  I have never known a person who could diffuse a stressful situation like Jack.  He was calm, and at the end almost always finished with a laugh.  He stood up for his guys, and when "correction" was needed he had a great skill in handling it.

We all have great JB stories, but when that immediately comes to mind is my first "non-tutored" break in shift other then those initial day shift days of "familiarization".  Training was sitting at the desk in the corner of the Dispatch room and observing what the Deputies were doing.

My very first solo shift was on a Sunday middle shift.  It was myself (the newbie) Al Ringateld, and Jack. At first I did not know if these two were serious, gruff Al, Sgt. Jack and the kid.

About two hours into the shift they both left the room, what the H am I supposed to do if something "happens" - I was scared S_ _ _ _ less!

They both returned to the room with guitars, and commenced a Country Western and old time music concert.  Not my kind of music, but it immediately set the tone (pun intended) for a less stressful job, which had more then it's share of stress.

Great guy, Jack, and great memories.  We emailed occasionally up until the last several months, and I couldn't understand why no responses, but his health may have been compromised.  We did talk on the phone not too long ago, and he seemed happy to have found another lady for sharing his life.

Jack's spirit is missed on this planet, his memory remains.

Thanks again Dick for sharing what a great guy Jack was with the WEB.

After reading your tribute and the letter he wrote on your behalf.....he was a decent guy who helped his friends. I loved his sense of humor!

Thank you so much Dick! Jack would have positively LOVED this!! I would absolutely love to have a copy! Address to follow. You are truly a great friend. "Bye-Bye Nice Man" (another of Jack's favorite sayings) !

Thanks so very much for the huge hand you contributed to the memory of our father! We truly appreciate you!

I think all of us getting together would be a wonderful thing. Thanks again for your assistance, Jack would be so proud.

For those of you who knew "Father Hennepin" Jack Benver

Wow!! Truly a piece of art nice man. I can't believe it, we have the exact same pictures of Jack! What a beautiful memorable gift you have given! You are a true friend and Jack would be exceptionally proud. God bless you Dick. Please extend my thanks to the honorable sheriff for his support regarding this website. I will be looking forward to talking with you.

Hi Dick,  I forwarded the email to a few others. Thanks for doing this.

(Website) Looks great Dick.

I was going to contact you regarding your speaking at Jack's funeral. The priest said it could not be done at the church so Melanie and I got permission to have you speak at the burial. We were both disappointed, but we still needed you to say something about Jack. So I hope you're up for it!

He was just a really nice guy who lived across the street from me.

I'm glad you spoke with him recently.

I remember him playing organ at your parents house and then running out of the front door to put mileage on the squad car and make up motorist assists, and of course out on the highway watching him clock cars. Now I wish I had gone for coffee with the two of you.
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This Page Was Last Updated On: May 25, 2019