Craig R. Benjamin - Hillsboro, Ore.

Craig R. Benjamin - Hillsboro, Ore.
Craig Benjamin

ROCHESTER — Craig Robert Benjamin, age 64 - February 21, 1947 — March 26, 2011.

With courage and grace Craig set off on his next journey, beyond the reach of cancer and pain.

Craig was born and raised in Jackson, Minn. He enjoyed a wonderful childhood fishing and swimming on nearby Spirit Lake in Iowa with his grandparents and hunting deer and duck. Before he had a driver’s license, Craig was flying airplanes and attained his pilot’s license. He loved going fast, whether it was on water skis, downhill snow skiing, boating, motorcycling or driving a good car. Craig was a trombone player in the Jackson High School band and played football.

After graduating from Jackson High School in 1965, Craig’s family moved to Stewartville. He then went on to attend Mankato State University. He was drafted into the Army in 1966 and proudly served his country. Upon returning home in 1968, Craig entered into the electrical apprenticeship. He lived and worked in the Rochester area as an electrician for several years. A brief marriage in 1970 produced his first son, Chadwick. In 1980 he married Laurie Lynn Schlief of Rochester, and a year later they welcomed their son, Eric.

The couple moved from their home in Oronoco in 1982 and lived throughout the west before spending eight years in Carlsbad, Calif., and finally settling in Hillsboro, Ore., in 1993.


In 2000 Craig and Laurie started their own electrical contracting firm, Inland Electric, Inc. in Hillsboro. Craig’s love for his work was the driving force behind Inland Electric’s success, and within a few years the thriving business grew to three offices. Craig was a kind-hearted leader who valued his employees and treated them as friends.

In his final weeks, Craig said there wasn’t much he regretted or would change about the life he had lived—he had 34 years with his soulmate and partner, Laurie, and together they raised their sons, welcomed a daughter-in-law into the family, shared the joy of the birth of two granddaughters and had many adventures.

Craig loved trap shooting and spending weekends watching NASCAR or college football. His favorite team was the Tennessee Volunteers. Craig and Laurie traveled the world, but loved spending time with family and friends in Oregon most of all.

Craig is survived by his wife, Laurie Lynn Benjamin; his sons, Chadwick Benjamin of North Plains, Ore., and Eric Benjamin of Hillsboro; his parents, Robert Benjamin of Saline, Mich., and Doris Benjamin of Lake City; his daughter-in-law, Laurel (Nobel) Benjamin of North Plains; and his granddaughters, Brooke and Emily Benjamin of North Plains; his brother, David Benjamin of Concord, N.C.; and sisters, Cheryl (Benjamin) Milks of Davies, Fla., and Cynthia (Benjamin) Haugen of Ann Arbor, Mich.; brothers-in-law, Mark Schlief of Elgin, David Schlief of Hammond and Bob Schlief of Rochester; sister-in-law, Deborah Schlief; and many other family members across the country.

A Celebration of Craig’s life will be held April 16, 2011, at 11 a.m. at The Jenkins Estate, 8005 S.W. Grabhorn Rd., Beaverton, OR 97007. Luncheon to follow.

Condolences may be sent in care of Inland Electric, Inc., 360 S.E. Baseline St., Hillsboro, OR 97123.

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