Robert Rutland Benton passed away on April 22, 2021 from a sudden heart attack. Born on January 25, 1937 to R. Rutland Benton and Faye Rives Benton, he was raised in Winston Salem, N.C. Robert graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he earned a BA and an MA in English. Before moving to South Glastonbury in 1976, he served as a volunteer teacher to African-American students in Prince Edward County, VA when public schools were closed to avoid desegregation, taught English at the College of William and Mary, worked as a Community Organizer in Virginia with his friend Jim Scott, then as an Addictions Family Specialist for the City of New York with his friend Stefan Larkin, and served as a Management Consultant in Westport, CT. Robert retired from Connecticut Mutual Insurance Company in Hartford as a Sr. Vice-President of Human Resources.
Robert (often known as Bob) was a man of many interests, but his passions were gardening (a past president of the Connecticut Horticulture Society), poetry, justice issues, Faulkner and Lincoln. Most important to him were his children Kathleen Donodeo (Fred), David Benton (Justyna), and Jessica McCurdy (Austin); grandchildren Michael and Joey Donodeo, Alec and Conner Benton, and Wyatt, Eli and Forrest McCurdy (Aleah); and great-grandson Oliver McCurdy. Robert is also survived by his beloved wife Judy Alexander Benton, his sister Margaret Eargle (O.H.), his brothers-in-law Wyatt Alexander (Emilie) and Howard Sankey, and dear nieces and nephews: Frances Kwiatkowski, Caroline Sankey, Ida Baisch, Beth Patton, Bobby Eargle, and Lynn Spangler. Robert/Daddy will be greatly missed as a constant presence of warmth and love. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Southern Poverty Law Center or The Congregational Church in South Glastonbury. A memorial celebration of his life will be held at The Congregational Church of South Glastonbury at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 22, 2021.