Celebrate Excellent Care

Benz Family memorial golf tournament benefits Tunnell Cancer Center

September 14, 2017

Arnold Palmer once said that success in golf depends less on strength of body, more on the strength of mind and character. A man named Ed Benz is the epitome of this philosophy.

Ed grew up in Newark, N.J., where he graduated from Newark College of Engineering. He went on to receive one of the first computer science degrees ever obtained in the country from Stanford University. During his many years with the National Security Agency, he worked with and mentored many junior grade employees who showed potential for leadership in the organization through the Executive Program. He was the definition of what a leader should be, and many of his mentees have moved onto high-level positions with NSA. He and his wife, Johanna, raised their three children in Maryland and had just celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary July 9, 2016.

Ed was always involved in golf, and he became an avid player. He and Johanna retired to Delaware in 2003. Upon moving into Baywood Greens, he became the handicap chairman for the Resident League. He is credited for getting many Baywood residents involved in golf. Tony Hollerbach, head golf professional at Baywood Greens, states, "Ed was a great guy and would do anything I needed to make the Baywood Resident Golf League a successful experience. He really loved the game and promoted it, especially by helping older golfers and making the game fair for all players." Ed also participated in the Sussex County Senior League.

In his early 50s, Ed had survived triple bypass surgery. He passed in January at the age of 75. "We were very lucky to have him for these 20 years and for our wonderful years of retirement together," said his widow Johanna.

Upon his passing, the family knew that the best way to honor and remember Ed was through golf. It was Tony Hollerbach who first suggested a tournament in his honor. Johanna decided to raise money to support something in the community that was important to both of them, so she chose Beebe Healthcare's Tunnell Cancer Center. Both had experienced successful care and positive recovery at Beebe, Johanna in 2013 at Beebe's Medical Center and Ed at the Tunnell Cancer Center in 2016.

It took more than six months to plan the Ed Benz Memorial Golf Tournament held July 22, 2017, at Baywood Greens. Tony helped with oversight of the tournament details. Ed's three children, Tony from North Carolina, Neil from Maryland, and Kim Dresser from Florida, all lent a hand to the success of the event. Nine of Ed's 10 grandchildren were also proud helpers at the tournament in remembrance of their "Pop."

The event drew more than 65 golfers who joined family and friends who gathered together at the Baywood Country Club to celebrate Ed's amazing life. The tournament raised a generous amount of $3,714 for Tunnell Cancer Center while celebrating Ed's life and his love for golf.

"The golf community in Sussex County provides incredible support to Tunnell Cancer Center each year," said Diane Barlow, gift planning officer at Beebe Medical Foundation. "In addition to this wonderful tribute to Ed Benz, hundreds of golfers participate in four annual Beebe-sponsored golf tournaments throughout the county, helping to raise much-needed funds for Tunnell Cancer Center and its plans for a new satellite location in the Millville area."

As a community-based not-for-profit healthcare system, Beebe Healthcare depends on the generous support of individuals, corporations, businesses, and private foundations. All gifts to Beebe Healthcare, large or small, are tax deductible and are channeled through Beebe Medical Foundation. Gifts can be designated to specific areas such as the Tunnell Cancer Center. Please consider making a gift today and sharing your story with our community. To make your proud personal donation or to learn more about Celebrate Excellent Care, go online to or contact the Beebe Medical Foundation at 302-644-2900 or write to