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Charles E. Benning Sr. was born the youngest of three to Henry (RailHead) Benning Sr. and Katie Mae Carpenter Benning in Cleveland Ohio on October 29, 1950. Charles had two siblings, Henry Benning Jr. and Frederick Benning all who proceeded him in death. Charles grew up around 110th and Ashbury. It was there where he found some of his life- long friends, Michael Monroe, Dwight Fletcher, Rogers Wilson, Jerome Johnson, Jennett Cardwell and William Lavander to name a few. While attending John Hay High School, Charles had many incredible opportunities to succeed. His love for education and journalism led him to travel and study abroad in Europe. He also was a part of John Hay's "Its Academic" team. He originally wasn't going to try out for the team, but with some encouraging words from his friends he went on and instantly earned a spot leading John Hay to victory against many other prominent suburban schools. This was the first time an inner city school had won "Its Academic" Now called Academic Challenge
After high school, Charles furthered his education by attending Bowling Green State University. In 1970 while at BGSU, he became a charter member of Omega Epsilon and Delta Epsilon of Omega Psi Phi. There, he earned the line name of "Scholar". Upon returning back to Cleveland, Charles started his next chapter in life with attaining a career in Law Enforcement. Charles earned his bachelor's in Criminal Justice from Western Reserve University. He went on to hold several head of security positions including securing the State building where he met Jean Matthews. The two dated and married in June of 1990. His father Henry put his stamp of approval on their union once he tasted Jean's cooking saying "that girl can burn". Within this union there were four sons, Kervin, Derrick, Jason, Charles Jr.
In 1983 Charles (CB) joined the Cleveland Police Department. During his time on the force, he became a founding member of the CPD Gang Unit as well as the President of the Midwest Gang Association. He eventually became a Detective and held this position until his retirement in 2002. Charles was a devoted member of William T. Boyd Lodge #79 As well as a dedicated Deacon at New Covenant Lutheran Church. CB was a mentor and a sponsor in the Alcoholics Anonymous Program and was also inducted into the John Hay Hall of Fame for academics September of 2023. At any given moment you could find Charles providing education and encouragement to others around him.
After a battle with a few different illnesses, Charles departed from this earth on November 20, 2023. He leaves to cherish his memory a Wife Jean, four children, Kervin (Tania), Derrick, Jason, Charles Jr. (Monique) and four Grandchildren, Tierra, Kevin, Ke-shaun, and Chyanne, Nephew Fred Jr., Neices Renee and Sky, Great Neice Brittany, Great Nephew Edmon, in addition to an Adopted son Carlos Louis. He also leaves behind a large host of extended family and friends.