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Stagehand, Witty Friend Laid To Rest In Hyattsville

Brian Xavier Benson, 58, of 42nd Place, was remembered by his friends and family Wednesday after a traffic accident took the dry-witted stagehand away from them one week ago today.

About 200 mourners gathered at St. Jerome’s Church in Hyattsville Wednesday morning to celebrate the life of an avid motorcyclist, a loving husband and a doting dad.

Brian Xavier Benson, 58, of 42nd Place was laid to rest by his friends and family

“Now he’s working behind the scenes … lucky for us he has a lot of experience with that,” said Nicole Daniels, Benson’s niece.

Benson, a stagehand at Wolf Trap, was on his way home when he was killed shortly after 11 p.m. He was traveling on his motorcycle headed east on Georgetown Pike when he was hit by a car going in the opposite direction, Fairfax County police said.

Benson is survived by his wife Barbara C. Tymann and daughter Amelia Benson.

Davies, Benson’s goddaughter, shared her memories of her uncle’s pink cookie breakfasts, ponytail and selling power.

Despite the sadness of his death, the funeral for the former president of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local 22, was anything but despairing.

Waves of laughter and even applause erupted through the congregation as Benson’s friend Phil Yunger told stories about the Irishman he met in 1980 at a tavern.

“Brian wouldn’t want me to be morose because whether you know it or not Brian was Irish,” Yunger said.

Ed Sauer, who once worked with Benson as a waiter and bartender, noted his pal’s “dry wit dripping with sarcasm.” 

“Brian told Amelia [before he died] that he’d rather her play poker on his casket than to mourn his death,” said Ed Sauer, who offered a eulogy for his friend.

“He was an amazing father,” Amelia Benson said. “He moved mountains, and I will never know how. It took me ‘til I was about 13 to realize that the sun didn’t rise and set in him.”

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