The MAB is sad to pass on the news that GB Broadcasing founder George E. Benko V passed away on October 22 at his home in Birmingham, Mich., surrounded by his family and friends. GB Broadcasting is licensee of MAB Member WBGV-FM (Marlette). He was 56.
Benko was born December 12, 1962 in Yale, Michigan to Ella and George Benko. He graduated from Croswell-Lexington High School in 1981 and subsequently went to Eastern Michigan University where he graduated with a B.S. in Communications. After graduation he worked at radio stations in Sandusky (WMIC-AM, WTGV-FM) and Gladwin, Michigan (WJEB-AM). In 1992, he was awarded a construction permit for WBGV, which went on the air in 1999.
George was a devote Christian and was an active member in Campus Crusade for Christ at EMU. He actively supported the Community Baptist Church in Croswell and the First Baptist Church of Troy.
George had many hobbies and interests including a love of bicycles, his Land Rover, sign language, nutrition and household gadgets. He was fascinated by dome homes and built his own Yurt. He loved the holidays; dressing up for Halloween, shopping for Christmas and birthday gifts, especially for his nieces and nephews. George was well known for his great sense of humor and laughter.
He served as President of the Sanilac Literacy Council and was passionate about the importance of reading. He was an active member of the Automobile Press Association and attended many automobile shows across the country. He was a member of the Amateur Radio Relay League and proudly displayed his call letters, KB8WWD, on his Land Rover’s license plate.
He is survived by his parents Ella and George Benko, sister Becky (Randy Holland), sister Barbara (Denis Murphy), brother John (Katherine Benko), and six nieces and nephews, Rachel, Eric, Daniel, Johnny, Ava and Abigail. George is the godfather to Johnny and Daniel.
Funeral services were held on October 23. Memorial contributions suggested to First Baptist Church of Troy or Community Baptist Church in Croswell.