Louis consciously and peacefully transitioned into the light early Saturday morning, surrounded by family and friends, after courageously coping with liver cancer since the latter part of last year. With tremendous strength of will, he did it his way till the very end of his time here with us. Louis (emphasis on the long ee sound, please!) was born upstate, in Glen Falls, New York, to parents Rita and "Benny", who predeceased him. He is also predeceased by his brother Carl (Elsie) Stoltz, aka Butchie. When the family moved to Florida in 1961, Louis discovered the ocean, beaches, waterskiing and boating. He became a lifelong Dolphins fan. Louis was inducted into the Army in May of 1969. After serving in Viet Nam in the Fourth Infantry Division as a tank and heavy equipment retriever, he was honorably discharged in May of 1971. Louis returned to Florida where he met the love of his life, Robyn Helman. They were married September 2, 1972. Louis credited Robyn with saving and making his life. Theirs was a lifelong love affair. Louis and Robyn moved to Tucson in August, 1974 and founded the Lou Benson Construction Company in 1977 (http://www.loubensonconstruction.com/). Daughter Nicole Lee was born in 1979 and son Jonas Bradford joined the family in 1981. Louis enjoyed sports and coached both soccer and baseball. He and Robyn were intimately involved with their children's education, band and athletic events. Louis was an avid sailor of "Little Bit", a golfer, and, as a racing enthusiast, he would have LOVED to have been a racecar driver. Louis was involved with the Tucson Veteran's for Peace organization and he was a proud member of the VFW Catalina Post 4903. Louis cherished the Sonoran desert and he sensitively built custom homes in order to preserve as much of it as possible. He expected others to do the same. In April of 1992, Lou Benson Construction coordinated and put on the first ever straw bale house demonstration for the Southern Arizona Home Builder's Association's 20th Anniversary Home Show and then, in March of 1995, they organized the Alternative Building Materials Home Show, both at the special request of Alan Lurie, then Executive Director for SAHBA. In his spare time over the last decade, Louis was the architect, builder, and Grounds Co-chair for the Tucson Audubon Society's Mason Center, educating the community by modeling sustainable techniques such as energy efficient construction, water harvesting, feeding energy back to the grid with solar panels, and a planned composting, ADA compatible toilet. Louis was instrumental in the production of the annual Ironwood Festival/Jam and was this year's Guest of Honor, where he danced with his granddaughter, Jade. Louis LOVED to dance with all "his girls"! He also LOVED working with Jonas, his "favorite" son, who will carry on the business in his Pop's footsteps. Louis was a respected member and contributor to the Tortolita Homeowner's Association, the Northwest Coalition for Responsible Development, the Oro Valley 2020 Plan, the founding of the Town of Tortolita, the recall and reform of the Amphitheater School Board, Pima County's Northwest Comprehensive Plan Update, and the years long community stakeholder's process of the Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan. Louis was a patriotic and informed community activist who believed everyone could, and should, make a difference. He was proud to have been elected Marshal of the Town of Tortolita, the only town in Arizona to have been incorporated by an overwhelming number of signatures, the majority of which Louis collected. He LOVED Tortolita. A warrior to the end, Louis was actively supporting public access to the Tortolita Mountain Park during his illness. Louis was happy to make music with The Ray of Hope Band, and with musicians wherever he found them, but he most LOVED playing his guitar or mandolin while Robyn played percussion in their music room. He was a member of the Tucson Kitchen Musicians Association. A gentle man, famous for his smile, Louis was a beloved son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, brother-in-law, uncle, and friend. Louis will be missed by his sister, Barbara (Bill) Staigar, brothers Richard and Lee Benson, wife Robyn, daughter Nicole (Jeff) Corwon, son Jonas (Misty), and grandchildren Glenn, Sajen, Jade, Sophie, Oliver, Everett Leo, and Angela, sister-in-law Jodi Maher, brother-in-law Bruce Helman (Nely), nieces and nephews, extended family, friends, and his beloved Tortolita community. Louis reveled in a good party and was usually the life of whatever party he was at. He frequently said, "You can never have too much fun!" He relished telling stories, playing music and poker, laughing, singing, spending time at Apache Lake, and helping anyone in need, whether it was the Casa Maria Soup Kitchen or a stranded motorist. He was a "Two" with a capital T! A celebration of Louis' life will be held Saturday evening, June 27th, at the Tucson Audubon Society's Mason Center, located at the southwest corner of Thornydale and Hardy Roads. A potluck dinner will begin at 6 pm. A memorial ceremony will commence with Military Honors at 7:25 pm (sharp), followed by a blessing and slide show interspersed with storytelling, and ending with a musical jam session and dancing under the stars. Memorial remembrances can be made to the Tucson Audubon Society's Mason Center (http://www.tucsonaudubon.org/masoncenter/index.htm) c/o Paul Green, Executive Director, 300 East University Boulevard, Suite 120, 85705. Donations are also welcome to help Robyn defray Louis' medical expenses. For more information and to RSVP, please contact Aspen at [email protected] . Louis LOVED his family, friends, Town, and country. All who love Louis wish to express our gratitude to all who touched his life in a positive way. As Louis would say, "Peace".