Wilmington man laid to rest New Orleans style

Reported by Gavin Johnson - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Friends and family of Ernest Benson were given the touch of New Orleans as they said farewell to the 91-year-old man.

A band led the way into Oakdale Cemetery Wednesday, and Benson's family walked behind a horse and carriage that carried his casket.

Even though he was born and raised in Wilmington, loved ones said Benson always talked about having this type of service.

"He was a Southern gentleman, loved and respected the South and its heritage," said his son  Stuart Benson.  "Loved Wilmington more than any place on Earth and Oakdale Cemetery was one of his favorite places here."

Benson was a dentist in Wilmington for 33 years before retiring in 1988.  Family members said he'd seen and done a lot in his lifetime, and the New Orleans styled funeral was his final wish.

"It was his wishes he expressed his desire for 40 years and he lived to be 91 and when the day came I promised him I'd do what I said I'd do," said Stuart.

And as the band left the service dancing in the aisles, family members knew their loved one is doing the same from up above.

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