Vail has lost one of its original sons, Tim Benway.Born April 15 to Larry and Willie Benway, Tim was the middle of three sons and a member of one of Vail’s first families. He was the complete outdoorsman and loved fishing, hunting, ice climbing, backpacking, you name it, he did it. And he loved to share these activities with friends and family.He also loved to fly. On Jan. 11 he was piloting a 1978 Beech E-90 King Air Turboprop, carrying three members of the Yampa Valley Medical Center from Steamboat Springs to pick up a car accident victim at the Rawlings Hospital and deliver him to a Casper hospital. The plane went down about three miles short of the runway. The cause of the crash hasn’t been determined.Benway grew up in Vail in a time when the town was much smaller everybody knew each other and watched out for each other. He was a graduate of the Vail Mountain School, class of 1987, and he went on to study at Ft. Lewis College in Durango, where he also pursued his pilot’s license.From the moment news spread of the Benway’s loss, locals have shown a great amount of support and love for the family. The phone, Larry told us, has been ringing off the hook.In a time when many of Vail’s old guard wonder if we still hold strong common bonds, Larry said he has seen, first-hand, how tightly-knit we still are here in town.”Sometimes it takes a tragedy like this to make you realize what a community is,” Larry said.For all those who wish to show support to the Benways, a memorial service will be held Saturday at the Vail Interfaith Chapel at 10:30 a.m. and will continue at the Donovan Pavilion in West Vail at 12:15 p.m.The Benway family asks that, in lieu of flowers, contributions be made to Meet the Wilderness or the Family Resource Center.– TB
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