|Donald E. Benge|
|By Joan DuBois|
|December 28, 2009|
Donald E. Benge (1933-2007)
Donald Eugene Benge, a former USCF member from Burbank, California, was killed in a head-on crash with a drunken driver on a Los Angeles area freeway on April 6, 2007. He was 73. He was born November 4, 1933 in Chicago and had lived most of his life in southern California. He and his twin brother, Ronald Eldon Benge (died 1973) inherited the Benge Trumpet Company after his father, Eldon Benge, died ironically in a car accident in December 1960. The trumpet created by his father was the favorite of famed trumpet player Herb Alpert in the early part of his career. After buying out his brother in 1963, Donald ran the company until January 1971, when he sold it to Leisure Time Industries. He later founded the Burbank Trumpet Co.. Mr. Benge pursued eclectic interests. He was a game board designer, creating his most successful classic game "Conquest," among others, and operated a coin store on West Burbank Avenue in Burbank. He was also a skilled fencer, competing at the national level in the veterans division and also representing the United States several times in the veterans fencing division world championship in both foil and epee. Before he retired from competitive chess, his USCF rating peaked over 1900.
Obituary submitted by George Mirijanian, Massachusetts Chess Association.
Donald E. Benge - May you rest in peace.