Champaign News Anchor Dave Benton Passes Away
Champaign TV news anchor Dave Benton has passed away, after battling brain cancer for about 18 months. He chose to work through most of his illness, and only announced last month that he was stepping down from his daily duties at WCIA. Benton was 52.
Long after his November 2013 diagnosis, Benton said he chose to continue working, and live life as normal as possible. Benton told viewers in September 2014 that his cancer had returned, and he only had months to live.
Outside of his work as an anchor, Benton was active in Champaign County Crime Stoppers, hosting programs that helped local law enforcement, and serving on their board.
The group named ‘The Dave Benton Crime Fighter Award’ to be given annually in honor of his work.
In a December 2014 interview with Illinois Public Media's Jeff Bossert, Benton admitted surprise, but hoped it would inspire others.
“The fact we think that – maybe it will encourage others to be involved is phenomenal," he said. "And I hope that’s really what it leads to. I may not be around five years from now to check to see who all won the awards, but the reality is, is that I hope that a lot people do, and I’m sure they will. Like I said, there’s a lot of people that deserve that pat on the back, and I know it will do a lot to help others, and I’ll be thrilled.”
Benton said his decision to go public with the illness, and update viewers on his health, helped others deal with similar situations.