‘Deputy of the Year’ Dies Suddenly At Home

The close knit law enforcement community is mourning the loss of one of their own.

Johnston County Deputy Roger Benson, a life-long resident of Clayton, died off-duty at his home Tuesday afternoon while mowing grass.  He was 70.

Deputy Benson began his career with the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office on May 10, 1985 under Sheriff George E. Johnson. He also served as a deputy under former Sheriff Freddy Narron.

Roger continued to serve under Sheriff Steve Bizzell, holding the rank of Deputy Sheriff, Patrol Sergeant, Patrol Lieutenant, Detective, Detective Sergeant, and K-9 Officer.

He retired full-time in January 2006 but for the past 12 years had served part-time as a Reserve Deputy Sheriff, working about 20 hours a week serving civil process paperwork.

Deputy Benson was selected by Sheriff Bizzell and the administrative staff as the “Deputy of the Year” for the Clayton area, and received the honor from the Clayton American Legion Post 71 on March 8th.

Roger was well-known and highly respected in his community and throughout Johnston County.  He was an example of what a professional law enforcement officer should be, and took personal pride in his job.

“Our friend and co-worker, Roger Benson, died unexpectedly at his home Tuesday evening while mowing grass,” Sheriff Bizzell said shortly after he learned of the death.  “Roger was loved by many and will be truly missed.  We lost a good man today.”

As another way to serve his community, Benson also volunteered for 20 years with the Clayton Fire Department. When he wasn’t performing public service work, Roger treasured spending time with his family and fishing.

Funeral Arrangements

A celebration of his life will be held Friday, May 25th at 11:00am in the McLaurin Funeral Home Chapel in Clayton. Interment will follow at Pinecrest Memorial Park.

The family will receive friends Thursday, May 24th from 5:00pm – 8:00pm at McLaurin Funeral Home, 12830 US 70 Business Hwy W., Clayton.

Roger is survived by his wife, Renee Wall Benson; children, Kelly Benson DiNubila, Jennifer Benson Everette, and Roger Benson, Jr.; grandchildren, Kopper and Kaiden DiNubila, Jayden Everette, and Jordan Benson; sister, Pam Driver; brothers, Mark and Mike Benson; as well as several nieces, nephews, and cousins.