Cliff Benzel Passes into Glory

Saying goodbye to an old friend1cliff

by Ron Sider

Cliff Benzel is now with the Lord.  But his legacy lives on here on earth.  Cliff was ESA’s executive vice-president for the decade of our largest growth.

Cliff brought enormous gifts and experience to our small organization when he moved from California to Philadelphia in the early 90s.  He had been a vice president at World Vision, where he was responsible for a vast operation and played an important role in fighting a devastating famine in Ethiopia.  By contrast, ESA was very small, but we were in the midst of a rapid expansion of staff, programs, and impact—thanks in part to several major foundation grants.

Just moving to the East Coast from sunny southern California was a great act of commitment for both Cliff and his wife, Marilyn.  We welcomed them with three big ice storms that first winter!

Cliff oversaw ESA’s Thirtieth Anniversary celebrations, the launching of PRISM magazine, and the development of the Evangelical Environmental Network.  With his superb management skills, Cliff oversaw the expansion of  staff and programs.PRISM-July-Aug12

Even after Cliff and Marilyn moved back West at the end of the 90s, Cliff remained closely engaged with ESA, serving on the board and contributing generously to ESA’s budget.

I will always be very grateful to Cliff and the Lord he loved and served for his fabulous gifts both to me personally and to ESA as an organization.

Cliff, for your gifts, your sacrificial giving of yourself, your leadership and personal integrity, we thank you and honor you. God bless you, dear friend.

Ron Sider is the founder and former president of ESA.

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2 Responses

  1. Stan LeQuire says:

    I am grateful that Cliff hired me and brought me to ESA/EEN. I learned so much with him as our VP. He was a man of great integrity, compassion and faithfulness.

  2. Brian Lagerquist says:

    I worked for Cliff at World Vision from 1977-1979. He and Marilyn helped me through a very dark week in my life in 1977. Can’t say enough about what a wonderful man, manager and friend he was.
    Brian

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