OBITUARY: Col. Mark Jeffrey Benedict (Ret.)


Col. Mark Jeffrey Benedict (Ret.) of Cottontown, TN, age 69, passed away Monday, June 10, 2024, at St. Thomas Hospital.

Mark was the son of William and Joyce Benedict of Maple Rapids, Michigan.

Mark’s Dad was a US Army officer and retired in TN. Mark’s childhood began in New Dehli, India, and included numerous army bases in the US as well as South Korea and Germany.

Mark graduated from MTSU in 1985 and was commissioned in the US Army as a 2nd Lt where he was assigned to Ft. Rucker, AL aviation, flying the Black Hawk helicopter. He flew with 101st Airborne Division in Desert Storm in Saudi Arabia and Iraq. At a later assignment in Virginia, Mark transitioned to acquisition and began working in computer engineering. He went on inactive reserve for few years during a military downsizing, but was reinstated to active duty after 9/11.

He served in Ansbach, Stuttgart, and Mannheim, Germany before attaining acceptance to the National Defense University in Washington, D.C., where he was promoted to Colonel in 2010. He then was assigned to National Security Agency at Ft. Meade, MD, where he was Deputy Chief for Space and Weapons.

After retiring in 2013, Mark spent a number of years working as a cyber-security and communications expert. He was highly sought after by recruiters for his unique set of skills. Mark loved the military and working hard. Having been a carpenter before the military, he returned to his first love of building, where he nearly completed a lakeside home for family gatherings.

Mark was a member of Redeemer Church, Hendersonville, TN. He loved nothing more than cooking for family and friends, his signature dish being Spanish paella. Mark was the family photographer and took over 60K photos of every occasion.

Mark is survived by his wife of 48 years, Sallie Benedict; daughter, Ruth Prather and husband Stephen, and son Tim Benedict and wife Melissa; seven grandchildren: Lily, Steve, and Addy Prather and Lexie, Clara, Hannah, and Zoe Benedict; brothers Bill Benedict and wife Kathy, Rex Benedict and wife Michelle, Leith Benedict and wife Pam, and one sister, Mary Thompson and husband Randy; extensive nieces, nephews, grand-nieces, grand-nephews, brothers and sisters-in-law, and cousins.

Mark was preceded in death by his parents, Bill and Joyce Benedict; brother, Bruce Benedict.

A Celebration of Life Service will be held Saturday, June 22nd at 3:00 PM from the chapel of Sellars Funeral Home at Hendersonville. Visitation with the family will be Saturday, June 22nd from 1:00 PM until service time at 3:00 PM.

Arrangements by Sellars Funeral Home at Hendersonville, 108 Monthaven Blvd., Hendersonville, TN 37075, 615-265-8535, obituary line, 615-758-8818,


For more obituaries visit

Subscribe to our Newsletter!