Donald Benge

November 4, 1933 - April 6, 2007

Donald was killed in a car accident at 4:30 am on Friday, April 6th by a drunk driver who was
traveling westbound in the eastbound lane. They collided head-on and Donald died instantly.
Even at the age of 73 he was an active fencer who competed at the national level.


The above pictures were taken on January 13, 2007 during my one-day visit with him.
He was very excited about this project and had, two days before his death, sent me
two more letters that his father had received from Herbert L. Clarke. One dates from
1920 and is in answer to Elden Benge's question regarding mouthpiece placement, and the
other is a 1933 letter sending his congratulations on the birth of Donald and his twin brother,
Ronald, who died in 1973. Donald was kind enough to give me documents pertaining to
Elden's career, music that his father had owned since childhood and other interesting
memorabilia, as he had no further use for them and he thought that this was a worthwhile project.

The family pictures of Elden Benge that can be viewed in various sections of this site (there
will be more to come, too) were lent to me by Donald, to be scanned and returned to him.
This happened before his death, and the originals are now in the possession of his relatives.
I received Donald's permission to use the scans of the photos.
Here is a link to the Donald Benge tribute on
Swordplay, a fencing website. A memorial service
was held on May 6, 2007 in Burbank.

Here is a link to Donald's Conquest page, maintained by Steven Wagner.
Conquest was Donald's most popular game; it is still played world-wide. When I visited him
there were game parts all over his living room, waiting to be assembled and shipped.

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