Frank 'Whitie' N. Bensen, age 80, of West Haven, passed away on July 11, 2013 at Conn. Hospice in Branford. Whitie was predeceased by his wife Barbara Cooper Bensen. Born in Hamden on August 22, 1932, he was the son of the late Casper Bensen, Anna Marie Nissen Bensen and Jenny Knudsen Bensen Lovig. He is survived by his daughter, Billie Jean Bensen & her husband Donald Marette of Chevy Chase, MD; his son Kyle F. Bensen & his wife Jennifer of Darien; grandchildren, Terryn Bensen Marette, Griffin Bensen Marette and Tory Bensen; sisters, Ruth Bensen Ekberg of Rockford, IL & Dottie Bensen Rasche of St. Louis, MO and several nieces & nephews. Whitie grew up in Hamden and played hockey for Hamden High School then Clarkson College. His first career was working at Knudsen Dairy in North Haven. He pitched for the Roessler Yellow Tags and officiated at hockey games on the high school and college level. He was on the Board of Directors for New Haven Youth Hockey and a founding member of the Board of Directors for West Haven Youth Hockey. He established Whitie Bensen Athletic Equipment in 1965 after selling hockey equipment out of his car for several years. Whitie was extremely proud of his three grandchildren and followed their academic and athletic careers beginning at the youth organization level, high school and college. He also followed the career of many local athletes and teams over the years. He remained a loyal Hamden and West Haven fan throughout his life. Customers of the store would always know to find Whitie in the back working where he enjoyed refurbishing equipment. Friends may visit with his family on Sunday, July 14th from 4:00 to 8:00 PM at BEECHER & BENNETT - TAYLOR FUNERAL HOME, 410 Campbell Ave, West Haven, CT and may attend his Memorial Service on Monday at 11:00 AM in the Branford Evangelical Free Church, 231 Leetes Island Road, Branford. Interment will be held privately with his family. In lieu of flowers contributions in Whitie's memory may be made to the Whitie Bensen Scholarship Fund, c/o Whitie Bensen Athletic Equipment Inc. P.O. Box 248, West Haven, CT 06516.

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  1. Billie Jean, Kyle & Family, Our prayers are with you all. Whitie was a great man who will never be forgotten for his contributions to the community. Whitie’s love for sports touched the lives of all of those who walked through the doors of his store!! God Bless.

  2. Dear all in the Bensen Family! We send our sympathy on your loss! We are so happy for all the good memories we have for fun and nice dayes, we had when Frank visited us in Denmark, and when we were together on our trips in the States.

  3. Dear Bensen Family, My deepest sympathy for the loss of Whitie. He was such a great human being and helped out a lot of hockey players with equipment. He will never be forgotten. God Bless

  4. Dear Bensen Family, Our whole family is sorry for your loss. Mr. Bensen was always a gentleman and a friend to everyone. Forty years ago I was begging my parents to let me play hockey. At the time they didn’t know if they could afford it. Someone suggested my parents go and talk with .Whitey.. I know now that there was no way my parents could have afforded the equipment without his help. Some how he worked with my parents and made it happen. Thirty years later Kyle and the crew found me a way to get my son into his equipment to start playing hockey. My family and I will forever be indebted to your family. My family and I have so many great memories from hockey and it all started from a helping hand from a stranger forty years ago. God speed.

  5. Dear Kyle, and Family, Lisa and I send our deepest sympathy to you and your family on your loss. Your Dad was a great Man, a great Coach, and a great friend. Always helping, and caring , about others and family. May his memory live on in all our hearts. He will be missed by all in the hockey community. I know I will speak about him for many years to come, and his legend live on… Philip and Lisa Piasecki, friends, loyal hockey fans, East haven, Ct.

  6. Dear Kyle, Jenn and Tory, I am so sorry for your loss. You have been in my thoughts and prayers. I can tell that Mr. Bensen was a wonderful man and beloved by many. May God watch over all of you.

  7. Dear Kyle, Jenn and Tory, Sending my deepest condolences to you and your extended family on your loss. After reading Mr. Bensen’s obituary and testimonials from friends, I can certainly tell what a wonderful man he was – not only a beloved father and grandfather, but a light in the lives of all who had the honor of knowing him. RIP Mr. Bensen.

  8. Dear Whitie, You were a lifelong friend. Iam going to miss our phone conversations and your presence in my life. Can’t believe you’re gone. God bless Whitie….Rest in peace!

  9. I first meet Whitie in 1966 when I played for Hamden and he was selling sticks and skates out of his car in a dimly lighted parking lot across from the old Arena, Whitie was always looking for an edge which would become a passion with him and all of us who knew him well knew what the .Z. was short for. He always looking to make hockey affordable so very one could play and you could see it in the store when the Grandfather, Father would bring the newest family member in to be fit and the family hockey stories would start flying with Whitie right in the middle with a story about each member. The happiest I had seen Whitie was a few years back when in the back of the store telling me about how he spoke at a Hamden High Banquet the night before and informed those present that he was a Green Dragon all the way and not a Westie because the store was in West Haven by putting on his old Hamden High School varsity jacket and the bring them to their feet screaming as we were the only two Hamden players living in West Haven at that time I could not help but see a few tears on his face and seeing how proud he was. Yes there are more stories but I would like to keep them in my heart so I will always remember my friend, Thanks Whitie for being Whitie not Frank

  10. Kyle just wanted to send my condolences to you and your family. Anthony, Gianna and I are in Massachusetts at a girls lacrosse tournament. We dearly lived your Dad, he was a part of our hockey and lacrosse life. I an very sorry we could not attend his services but I think he would approve of missing it because of a sports event. We will see you soon.

  11. My son’s wonderful hockey experience from mites to high school to juniors wouldn’t have been the same without Whitie Bensen’s.

  12. Not only a job, but more importantly a hobby, a way of life, and a passion. This was his life long pursuit of happiness. He worked hard everyday. He never took a day off in his life. If you want to know what hard work and determination looks like, well he was the definition of it. The things I learned from him will never be forgotten about hockey and more importantly about life. Seven years for four or more days out of the week also the trips to chicks after every Sunday work day where he said, -No one else is to be invited Brian its only me and you.- I looked to him as not only as the Whitie we all knew but as a father figure in my life. Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened. I will always smile knowing I could be close to a man who had such a great legacy and reputation like Whitie. I have the most respect for him and his legacy should never be forgotten. Not only a boss but a father figure. I love you forever. He knows what he meant to me. I will never forget.

  13. One of many Watertown hockey guys that started going to Whitie’s back in the sixties. I am pretty sure on the decade. We were hockey guys back in the day and found out about Whitie Bensen’s in West Haven and that was that as far as Watertown hockey players and where we bought all of our equipment. He knew everything there is to know about hockey and the equipment as well. We all loved this guy and looked forward to going there everytime we needed equipment. Just a couple of weeks ago I was in a traffic jam on 95 got off to get out of the traffic and came up past the VA hospital and was going through that intersection where Whities was and it made me remember all those years ago. RIP OUR GOOD FRIEND

  14. Our deepest condolences to Whities entire family. He was a wonderful man and taught us that putting butter on cookies was really good! He will be sorely missed.

  15. Our heartfelt thanks to a beautiful man for sharing his kindness and passion. Prayer and thoughts for Kyle and family. From a day long ago as a boy, till a recent visit, I’ve always felt like a very important person in his shop. I realized long ago everyone feels that way because Whitie made us very important people in his shop. I was once told that my son would require x-rays to determine if surgery could fix his foot so he could skate. I told whitie and he installed a washer on my boy’s skate to .turn his foot over, and get him skating…2 ice sessions later he removed the washer because his .foot turned over.!

  16. So sorry to hear of Whitie’s passing. He was a great guy and everyone at Bauer loved talking with him. We will miss his positive attitude and sense of humor. Sincere Sympathy from Linda Iocovozzi at Bauer Hockey.

  17. Sorry I can’t make the wake, your father was a great neighbor when I had Harvs collectibles, the stories we shared were awesome, and some cannot be shared. My condolences to the family, and especially Kyle, in which we had our own shared stories. Kyle, I know I’m still your idol. R.I.P. whitie, my heart is with you and your family, Harvey cutler

  18. Whitey was my 1st Mentor in Hockey. He was my Pee Wee coach for a number of years, and we had a great time as a Traveling team before that term was even thought of. I have so many Great memories of Whitie and his entire family from over the years. I was truly blessed to have him in my corner. Whitie was the one instrumental along with his Friend The late Harry Rice of me going to Avon Old Farms with my best Friend Michael Thompson from Hamden as the 1st Athletic Scholarship kids to go there. I remember it like it was yesterday, this goes back to 1971. I was also fortunate to been chosen by Whitie to be an Instructor at his summer camp for 2years. In closing no one did more to promote hockey in Ct than Whitie, and I am sure many other have great tributes to share about this very special person who touched so many lives in the great sport of Hockey, he will be sorely missed, but his legacy will live on forever, and he will always have a Special place in my Heart for all he did for me and meant to me. Whitie thanks for you have meant to me !!!!

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