In the early morning of Monday, July 26, Joseph Conrad Benner, Sr. passed away peacefully in
his sleep at the age of 65. Joe was born in Philadelphia to the late Charles T. and Catherine Conrad Benner. He had two serious vascular surgeries in June and July and though he appeared to be coming back from this trauma, it was not to be. So the good Lord took him home.
Joe was very grateful to his wife, Pat for all the love, support, and care that she gave him
through his illnesses. He was especially proud of his sons, Niki and Joey (Conrad). And was
thrilled when Niki gave him a daughter-in-law, Patrice to love and cherish. Everyone that saw
him in their company saw how much he loved them.
Joe had a close relationship with his sisters, Kathy and Chrissy and his brother, Chuck. He
called them daily. And if they needed his help, he was there for them as soon as he could,
providing his health would allow. Many of Pat and Joe’s extended family were very fond of Uncle
Joe, especially the younger children. All the kids in the family (and extended family) were drawn
to him, because he had a special talent for talking to them and not at them.
So many of Joe’s neighbors, nurses, doctors, and close friends would tell his family that he was
an outstanding man. Many years ago, he and Pat had two dogs, Dolly and Ginger. He loved
taking them for their daily walks, which allowed him to bump into our neighbors and catch up on
the latest news of what was happening in Fishtown.
Joe's life started in Northern Liberties at St. Michael’s Parish. When he was approximately 10
years old, his family moved to Montgomery Avenue in Fishtown. While there, he attended Holy
Name of Jesus School. And when it was time for high school, he attended Mercy Tech.
As a boy, Joe played baseball and football. His Dad was so proud, when at the age of 12 he
pitched a no hitter. He continued in his adult life to play baseball for so many different teams,
there are too many to recount. When he was old enough to go to bars, he would play on their
darts teams. Many a night, Pat would sit with him while he watched baseball, hockey, and
basketball games all at the same time. Then came football and hockey season.
After school, Joe worked at a couple of different small jobs, when a neighbor suggested he try
Wells Fargo alarm services. He liked it so much that he spent the next 35 years going from
Wells Fargo to Security Link, and finally ADT. The gambit of experience went from service to
installation, then fire alarm inspector. His territories stretched across Philadelphia, Montgomery,
Bucks, and Delaware counties, and sometimes the state of Delaware. An injury on the job
forced him to retire early. There was never a time when he and Pat would be going somewhere
that he didn’t point out of the car and tell her that he inspected this building or that building. He
had so many stories from those years.Joe liked to keep busy after he entered early retirement. He began to create works of art. And,
naturally, many of these involved sports paraphernalia. He also pursued performing odd jobs for
neighbors, friends, and family. Joe never wanted to sit still.
It was a great fascination for Joe to follow his son Niki in his many regattas on the rowing team
of Northeast Catholic High school. He was also proud when Niki entered the Army reserves
after high school graduation. When his term of service ended, Niki moved in with his maternal
grandmother to help her as she got older. On the day that Niki graduated from Temple
University, Joe purchased Temple University tee shirts for himself and Pat so as to express his
immense pride in this accomplishment.
Joe’s son Conrad was greatly assisted by Dad on his numerous public art projects connected to
his blog, Streets Dept. They would go to Lowe's together to purchase the necessary supplies.
Joe loved to help Conrad figure out what tools he needed to borrow from him. He had every tool
you ever needed. And Joe would insist on coming to help Conrad too. Just this past February,
he showed him how to use his fancy laser level to build a photography exhibition celebrating the
10th anniversary of Conrad’s photo-blog. When he could, Joe would be there on the opening
day of any of his son’s projects with Mom and a big smile on his face.
Joe loved people, and loved it when he could make them laugh. Making people laugh put the
biggest grin on his face. And Joe had such a great smile. Remember his smile.
Joe is survived by his loving wife Patricia A. Bertotto Benner, his devoted children Niki A. Bertotto (Patrice) and Joseph Conrad Benner Jr. Loving Uncle of John, Andrew, Zachary, Amber and Samantha Taylor, CJ, Sean and Katie Benner. Great Uncle of Harley and Reese Taylor. Dear brother of Kathleen Benner, Christine Benner-Taylor ( Robert ) and Charles J. Benner ( Nancy ) and the late Charles T. Benner, Jr.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation, in his name, to any animal rescue organization of your choice or to the Fishtown Athletic Club, c/o Shawn Murphy, 853 East Thompson Street, Philadelphia, PA 19125 ( Please make checks payable to Fishtown Athletic Club)
Relatives and friends are invited to join and share in celebrating Joe's Life on Sunday August 8, 2021 from
11 AM to 1 PM, in the McELVARR FUNERAL HOME, 1415-17 East Susquehanna Avenue, Fishtown.
The interment will be private at a future date.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Joseph Conrad Benner, Sr., please visit our floral store.