John Alexander Benske II

October 28, 2019


Born to Eternal Life on October 28, 2019, age 50 years following a two year battle of pancreatic cancer.  Husband of Stephanie R. (nee Palmer) Benske.  Beloved father of Christian, Jack, Harry and William.  Adored son of Jack and Terry Benske.  Further survived by other relatives, colleagues and many friends.

John was, first and foremost, a proud father.  He took great pride with his family on trips to Disney World and Washington, DC, cheering on the sidelines of football games and riding roller coasters at the amusement park.  He was always ready with a story about the accomplishments of each of the boys and proudly shared videos of William strumming a birthday song to his grandmother.

An accomplished government affairs professional and passionate advocate for patients, John started his career at the Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin where he is credited with Wisconsin becoming one of the first states to give pharmacists the authority to immunize.  John went on to serve as a Director of State Government Affairs at Amgen, TAP Pharmaceuticals and AmerisourceBergen.  He also worked at Astra Zeneca and was a volunteer at Gold in September, a national childhood cancer advocacy organization that was particularly near to his heart given his own experience as a survivor of childhood cancer.

John Benske graduated from Shorewood High School, earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Government from the University of Wisconsin and went on to get a law degree from Creighton University Law School.

Visitation will take place on Tuesday, November 12th, 2019 at Three Holy Women Catholic Parish, St Hedwig Church; 1702 N. Humboldt Avenue; Milwaukee 53202 from 2-4:00 PM. Mass of Christian Burial 4:00 PM.  Following the Mass, you are cordially invited to join John’s family as they continue to celebrate his life at a reception at the Wisconsin City Club, 900 W. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee 53233

In lieu of flowers, contributions to the Education Fund for Benske sons would be greatly appreciated. – click on official site, click search in upper left, type education fund for Benske sons.

We are creating a “Memory Box” for the four boys.  If you have any stories or memories you would like to share … please email to


Per American Cancer Society:  I just wanted you to know how much we have appreciated John’s commitment and impact his work has had on giving hope to the many children and their families affected by serious illness, such as cancer, John was a leading voice in many states.

Your enthusiasm and brilliance is greatly missed in the government affairs arena, as is your quick wit and kind and generous spirit.  Humility and graciousness are hard to come by sometimes and are attributes you are long in.

We are so very sorry that you have had to endure such difficult times in recent years.  Please know that we at Amgen completely adore you.  You could not have left the company for other opportunities on a higher rate, and with more of our esteem.

I knew you were really good at your job, but was even more telling was when I’d meet others in your territory who spoke so highly of you, it means something when the competition loves you!  As a professional you are respected, appreciated and admired.  I hope your family fully comprehends how much you love them.  There was not one work event when you didn’t completely light up when discussing them.  They are so lucky to have you.

While it has been extremely difficult, John has attacked cancer with dignity, courage and humor.  These are exactly the types of qualities we look for in heroes.  If I get a diagnosis I hope I can attack it half as well as John.  John is my hero.

John knows his profession exceptionally well; he taught me a lot about the value of building a team with years of shared history.  I think the world of John as a man and as a professional.

John was always the first to credit everyone else for the many accomplishments he had as director of Government Affairs with the Wisconsin Pharmacy Association.

John has been a trusted friend, valued and effective colleague, devoted husband and father.

John can be credited with Wisconsin becoming one of the first states to empower pharmacists with authority to immunize.

“I am certain he is a celebrity amongst haberdasheries and the best thing to ever happen to a pair of suspenders.”

John lived his passion to bring patients the medicines they needed, serving in many leadership roles in the biopharmaceutical industry during his career.

I was going through a rough time.  He invited me to lunch.  He gave me advice and more than anything, he listened to me.  This simple yet kind hearted act made me feel so loved and I always remember him that way.  That’s the kind of person John was.  He was such a good man.

The moment I heard you were born I had tears of joy.  I didn’t even know the level of joy you were to bring to me, your parents, to all of us.  I love you so deeply I will always love you, your very proud Aunt B.

When we were working together, I was amazed by your calm and thoughtfulness and basically good hearted way of trying to get things resolved.  I always wanted to be like you.  I want to redouble my effort and thus follow your example.

You are clearly an amazing son, husband, father, friend and colleague.  I am in awe of the way that you live fully and with abandon and are kind to others.  All of that with such grace, honesty and humor.  You are amazing JB, and have many, many fans.

John, we love you very much.  You’re a great son, faithful husband and generous friend to many.  I cherish your soul.

I loved John and all he stood for… seeing him with his boys says it all…you and Jack raised an amazing son, a loving and nurturing father…and I am proud to be a part of his life.

You have set a wonderful example for your boys, and us on how to live life to the fullest, which is with love,  perseverance and laughter.  Those of us who have the privilege of being touched by your life, have been inspired and encouraged with the example you have set. You have made us all so much better.  I want to be as good a man as you are and while that is a tall order, that is how I will always measure myself.

All your Amgen colleagues miss working with you.  You are a great person and your kindness will remain in our hearts.



To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of John Alexander Benske II, please visit our floral store.


November 12, 2019

2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Three Holy Women Catholic Parish

© 2020 Northshore Funeral Services. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS