Wayne “Oren” Benfield, 67, of Marion, North Carolina, passed away Wednesday, April 5, 2023 at Mission Hospital McDowell after a short, courageous battle with cancer.
Born in Avery County on April 2, 1956, Oren was the son of the late Doyle Lovett Benfield and Emma Viola Ledford Benfield.
Oren spent his life serving the citizens of McDowell County with emergency services. He served as a volunteer fireman since he was a teenager, first with the Ashford North Cove Fire Department and later with the Sugar Hill Montford Cove Fire Department. After retiring from Baxter Healthcare, he began working as a paramedic where he touched many lives in his nearly 30 years of service. He also served on the Rescue Squad and later as the Fire Inspector for McDowell County.
Oren was a member of Concord United Methodist Church and a leader of the youth group. He was most recently a member of Greenlee Baptist Church where he was instrumental in starting the security team. He enjoyed woodworking and riding motorcycles. Above all, his grandchildren were his pride and joy.
Those left to cherish his memory are his wife, Susan Inman Benfield; two daughters, Mindy Martini (Christopher) and Haley Richardson (Kevin); two stepchildren, Jasmine Gardin (Wesley) and Ricky Carpenter (Emmaleigh); eight grandchildren, Madison Richardson, Gabe Gardin, Cooper Richardson, Maximus Martini, Scarlett Gardin, Juliette Martini, Mayleigh Carpenter, and Raya Gardin; and his special canine companion, Ginger. His memory and love for others will also continue on through his Sugar Hill Montford Cove Fire Department family.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, April 8, 2023 at 2:00 p.m. at Greenlee Baptist Church with Rev. Jonathan Tipper and Rev. Kenny Hilliard, III officiating. The family will receive friends from 1:00 until 2:00 p.m.