John Peter Benkenstein, Sr.
HITCHCOCK - John Peter Benkenstein Sr., husband, builder, fisherman and father of three, died on Tuesday, October 20, 2020, at the age of 64.
John was born on July 23, 1956, in Patchogue, New York, to Patricia (McCarthy) Benkenstein and Thomas Benkenstein. He was an only child for eight years, until his world turned upside-down with three younger sisters, Mary Ann, Teresa and Patty.
He attended Patchogue-Medford High School, where he met his future wife, Kathy (Kiezel) Benkenstein. They moved to Houston and married on April 25, 1981. Together they had three children, Brenda, Johnny and Christine.
In Houston, he started West Oaks Contracting, building a successful career in construction and his son later joined him in the business. He also had a knack for finding real estate gems.
John loved deep-sea fishing on the Gulf Coast with Johnny and many fishing buddies, winning tournaments and splashing the covers of angler magazines.
A maverick, John was never one to let the rules get in the way. He was also a jokester who made sure everyone around him was having a good time. As a Texans season ticket holder, he lost a bet or two to Patriots fans and Las Vegas was his preferred Super Bowl-watching spot. He relished the beach in Florida with his sisters, Mary Ann and Teresa and regular trips to see family in his hometown on Long Island.
John married his second wife, Shirley Gutierrez on December 6, 2019 in Las Vegas. She introduced him to golf and barbecue cookin’, which he supported by building her a custom pit. Shirley taught him to dress like a cowboy and John sponsored young exhibitors in the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo, benefiting scholarships. He was generous with his time and expertise, whether it was building a church thrift store or repairing hurricane damage. Friends knew he was always willing to lend a hand.
John died of Melanoma at his home in Bayou Vista, Texas, surrounded by family.
John was preceded in death by his mother, Pat and father, Tom. He is survived by his wife, Shirley and his three children, Brenda Cooper (and Stephen), Johnny Benkenstein (and Cathryn Gilkes) and Christine Piper (and Monte); grandchildren, Zoey Benkenstein, Ellie Benkenstein, Tommy Benkenstein, Max Cooper, Opal Piper, Ariel Gilkes and Arysa Winston; sisters: Mary Ann Church (and John), Teresa Rojo (and Stewart), Patty Rodriguez (and Tim); God-children, Anthony Rodriquez and Hannah Rojo. He was also dearly loved by his aunt Florence “Snooky” Carde, numerous cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.
Visitation will be held from 5:00-8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 27, 2020 at Hayes Funeral Home, 10412 State Highway 6 Hitchcock, Texas. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Hitchcock, Texas. A memorial service will be held at Our Lady of the Snow Catholic Church in Bluepoint, New York at 9:45 a.m. on Friday, November 13, 2020.
In lieu of flowers, John’s family invites you to donate to the John Benkenstein Memorial Fund to benefit HLS&R exhibition scholarships. Contributions can be mailed to: John Benkenstein Memorial Fund, 15100 Highway 6, Rosharon, Texas 77583.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of John Peter Benkenstein, Sr., please visit our floral store.
John Benkenstein Memorial Fund
15100 Highway 6, Rosharon TX 77583