Adelbert Lada Benerth, known by friends and family as “Al,” passed away Dec. 12, 2019, at 85. Al was born in 1934 in Cleveland, Ohio, the eldest son of four children whose parents were of Hungarian descent. He loved the close-knit Hungarian community and remained in the area attending the Ohio State University, proudly playing the trumpet for the marching band – a musical passion that he passed down to his grandchildren.
While in college, Al was a member of the U.S. Army Reserve. It was then that he developed a love of flying. After earning his pilot’s license, Al bought, flew, and sold several planes before finding the perfect fit: the Piper Super Cub, which allowed him access to remote fishing and hunting locations. Al was drawn to the outdoors, which led him to Colorado, where he attended grad school and taught high school. It was there that he met his match, Sheran Lynn Broadway while playing tennis. However, it was love nothing, as he took a teaching position and moved to Fort Greely, Alaska. Fortunately, a counseling position opened up at the same school and Sheran fulfilled her lifelong dream of moving to Alaska. Al and Sheran were married that summer in the beautiful Fort Greely chapel in 1965. Both Al and Sheran moved to Adak for a short stint and then to Eielson Air Force Base for the rest of their teaching careers.
As an educator, Al taught all grade levels, specializing in social studies and physical education, and was known to his students as “Mr. B.” Al shared his love of athletics through coaching and starting a youth ski program on base. He is survived by his daughter, Tori (with husband David Brannan and grandchildren, Dawson, Dakota, and Teslin; and son, Jeff (with wife Melanie Benerth and grandson, Garrett). He leaves his best friend and adventuring partner Sheran, who hiked by his side for 54 years; and his brothers, Bob and Ted Benerth. Al has been reunited with his parents, Lada and Irene; his older sister, Dorothy; and his many friends in heaven, where he is most likely discussing planes, guns, and football.
Al was a loving husband, father, and grandfather, often presenting those he loved with playful tokens he had collected. He was also a jokester and always had a twinkle of mischief in his eye and a prank up his sleeve. We would like to thank the wonderful medical staff at both Fairbanks Memorial Hospital and Providence Hospital’s Intensive Care Units as well as Salcha Fire and Rescue for their personal care during our time of need. We also thank the greater Salcha community and friends and family afar for sustaining us with love, prayers, and meals. We were recipients of many miracles and tender mercies and recognize they came about from the righteous desires of your hearts.