Deceased July 21, 2014
Kyle G. Benkert died peacefully at his home in Palatine, Ill., last July 21 after a six-month struggle with heart ailments. He was 83.
Kyle was born in Chicago and came to Amherst in 1949 from North Shore Country Day School in Winnetka, Ill. His fraternity was Phi Alpha Psi. After two years at Amherst, he transferred to Harvard to begin an academic journey that led to a distinguished career as an architect, planner and developer.
For the Class of 1953’s 30th Reunion book, Kyle wrote about the difference between Amherst and Harvard: “The attitude at Amherst was you put up your money and we have a great faculty here and we’ll make you learn—ten-minute quizzes every three days, no class-cuts, etc. At Harvard they said you pay your money and we have a great faculty and if you don’t want to learn that’s your loss.”
“Kyle loved his time at Amherst,” recalled Adrienne Benkert, his wife of 56 years, “He talked about it fondly.”
Kyle earned a bachelor’s degree in architecture at Harvard, followed by three years of service in the U.S. Coast Guard and post-graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania that resulted in three degrees in architecture and city planning.
After a stint with the Chicago Planning Department, Kyle soured on the public sector and struck out on his own in 1967, eventually forming Ben-Cor Group Inc. and becoming licensed as an architect in Illinois, Wisconsin, North Carolina and South Carolina. He was the architect, designer and land planner for more than 16 residential communities and more than 1,000 occupied homes.
In addition to Adrienne, Kyle is survived by three sons (John, Mark and David), two daughters (Joan and Helen), 10 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren, including twins born around the time of his death.
George Gates ‘53