Cover photo for Dr. Benton Hilbun's Obituary
Dr. Benton Hilbun Profile Photo
1936 Dr. 2023

Dr. Benton Hilbun

September 6, 1936 — May 9, 2023

It is with great sadness that the family of Dr. Benton McInnis Hilbun (a.k.a. "Doc") announces his passing on May 9, 2023. A man of integrity and wit, he had a fantastic memory and was a wonderful storyteller and writer.
He was born in Lucedale, Mississippi, on September 6, 1936, to Benton J. Hilbun and Marie Griffin Hilbun. In high school, he had a young science teacher (Jeanette Larrimore) who told Benton she knew he would become a doctor someday when she saw how perfectly he dissected his frog.
After graduating from Lucedale High School, he attended Mississippi State University, where his Uncle Ben was the current president. In 1958 he graduated from MSU with honors, was a President's Scholar, a member of Phi Kappa Phi, and forever a Bulldog fan. In 1961 he received his M.D. degree from the University of Mississippi. Following his internship, he completed general and thoracic residencies under the leadership of Dr. James D. Hardy. During his residency, he met and married Brenda Parker from Jackson. They were married for over 60 years and produced three children and six grandchildren, all of whom were the "apples of his eye." In 1967, after visiting Tupelo and falling in love with the town, the people, and the medical staff, he moved his family to Tupelo and joined Drs. Kirk and Caldwell to form the Surgery Clinic of Tupelo. During his practice, he served as Chief of Staff and Chief of Surgery at NMMC. He was appointed Clinical Professor of Surgery at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson and was Director of the General Surgery Residency Program from 1973-1998. He considered the opportunity to teach young surgeons as a most rewarding gift. In addition, he served on the Mississippi Board of Health (1974-1992), presiding as Board President from 1978-1980 and 1994-2000. He also served as President of the Mississippi Chapter of the American College of Surgeons, President of the Northeast Mississippi Medical Society, and Vice President of the Mississippi State Medical Association.
Benton loved his greater Tupelo community and served on numerous boards, which included the Executive Board of the Rotary Club of Tupelo, the Sanctuary Hospice Board, the Board of Directors of the Good Samaritan Clinic, and the Healthcare Foundation Board of NMMC. He had the honor of serving as chairperson for Take a Swing at Cancer in 2016. He was a long-standing member of Calvary Baptist Church and participated in several mission trips to South America.
He retired from the practice of surgery in 1998 so that he could enjoy family and his favorite hobbies. He made countless memories and friends through his hobbies. Many memories were made at Concordia, his hunting camp, including many well-spent holidays and hunting trips with his family. He loved to hunt and especially enjoyed the dove hunts at the McDonald's farm.
Playing golf was a favorite pastime. Benton played golf with his buddies on his days off from the practice of surgery, and in retirement, he played golf with his group, the "Dandies." The highlight of every golf season was his trip to Linville, North Carolina, with the "Linville Lizards."
Benton was a devoted MSU Bulldog, traveling to ballgames with friends and making lifelong memories. He enjoyed traveling, especially with his friends in the James D. Hardy Society travel group.
He had a wonderful and productive life. He cared deeply about his patients and gave them excellent care, loved his family and friends, and was a good provider in every way. Benton will never be forgotten and will forever be remembered and missed by all who were fortunate enough to know him.
Benton is survived by his wife Brenda, son Benton Hilbun Jr. (Jenni), daughter Parker Spees (Shane), daughter-in-law Karen Hilbun and six grandchildren: Benton Hilbun III, Taylor Hilbun, Betsy Hilbun, Adelyn Spees Kneip (William), Michael Spees, and Lily Hilbun. He is also survived by his brother Glyn R. Hilbun (Elizabeth), niece Hayley Lundy (John), nephew Glyn Hilbun (Lisa), niece Zeita Jones, and nephew Rick Parker. Other survivors include five great-nieces: Eliza, Anne Marie, and Mary Gibson Lundy; Tyler and Audrey Jones; and two great-nephews: Jantzen Hilbun and Matthew Jones. He was preceded in death by his parents; his son Kevin Hilbun; his brother-in-law Wayne Parker; and sister-in-law Zeita Parker.
The family would like to express their appreciation to Benton's dedicated caregivers, Mae Patton, and Diane McCoy.
A memorial service celebrating Benton’s well lived life will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, May 12, 2023 at the Jefferson Street Chapel of Pegues Funeral Directors with Rev. Jim Yates and Dr. John Boler officiating. The family will receive friends for a time of visitation following the service at Pegues, Tupelo.
Honorary pallbearers will be Dr. Bill Hilbun, Bobby Gaines, Harvey Fisher, Mickey Holliman, Glenn McCullough, Dr. Tom Billups, Bill Murphree, George Taylor, Dr. Tom McDonald, Dr. Read Jones, Retired Doctors Coffee Group, Gum Pond Investment Club Members, Tupelo Country Club “Dandies” Golf Group, and “Linville Lizards” Group
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the “Come Together” Fellowship Hall Building Fund Campaign at Calvary Baptist Church, P.O. Box 1008, Tupelo, MS 38802, or a charity of your choice.
Expressions of sympathy and fond memories may be shared at PeguesFuneralHome.com.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Dr. Benton Hilbun, please visit our flower store.

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Friday, May 12, 2023

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