On the sad day of Friday, January 26, 2024, Gary “Wade” Benz, Jr. gracefully transitioned into the arms of his Lord and Savior, leaving behind a legacy woven with love, laughter, and an unquenchable zest for life. Wade was not just a name but a presence that filled the lives of those around him with joy, be it as a cherished father, a devoted husband, an adored son and brother, a beloved uncle, a guiding mentor, or a treasured friend. His infectious smile, a knack for humour, and boundless enthusiasm for engaging in conversations never failed to capture the hearts of all who had the fortune to cross his path.
Born to Gary and Diane Benz on a crisp autumn day, November 14, 1979, in the vibrant city of Nashville, TN, Wade’s journey was marked by a tapestry of diverse experiences from his inception. Before adulthood, Wade had already dabbled in modelling, acting, and news broadcasting, driven by a genuine curiosity for the evolving world of technology, the dynamic shifts in current events, and the intricate dance of politics. His faith was a cornerstone of his existence, as was his pride in his educational journey through Christ Pres Academy (CPA), Western Kentucky, and Belmont University.
Post-education, Wade ventured into the business world alongside his father, Gary, an endeavour of immense sentimental value. His thirst for knowledge was insatiable, and he had a particular penchant for delving into biographies and business periodicals, always eager to absorb new insights.
The shores of Florida, with their sun-kissed beaches, played backdrop to a pivotal chapter in Wade’s life in 2010, where he encountered and fell deeply in love with Natalie. Their love story blossomed swiftly, leading to their union in marriage a year later. Together, they laid roots in the heart of Franklin, constructing not just a house but a home brimming with love, laughter, and the joyous chaos of raising four beautiful children. Wade’s world revolved around his family, cherishing every moment spent with them, from the magical daddy-daughter dances with Sawyer to tranquil fishing trips with Owen, delightful doughnut dates with Remy, and precious moments with his youngest, Sully.
Wade’s life was a testament to the power of connection. He never saw a stranger, only a friend he had yet met. His loyalty to his family was unwavering, and his impact on the lives he touched was immeasurable.
He leaves behind a loving family: his wife Natalie; his children Sawyer Kate, Remington Ryan “Remy,” Sullivan Roe “Sully,” and Owen Wade; his parents Gary and Diane Benz; his siblings Stephanie (Jody) McBrayer and Chase (Tessa) Benz; his in-laws Mike and Kelly Roebuck, Michael (Hannah) Roebuck, Christopher (Mallory) Roebuck, and Ryan Roebuck; and his nieces and nephews, who adored him.
In a fitting tribute to Wade’s passionate support for the “Unseen Stories” project at Christ Presbyterian Academy, a cause close to his heart aimed at fostering athletic and wellness facilities that encapsulate the spirit of community through school athletics, the family kindly requests that instead of flowers, donations be directed to this noble endeavour.
A Celebration of Life service will honour Wade’s memory at Rolling Hills Community Church in Franklin, TN. Visitation will be from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., followed by the service at 2:00 p.m., encapsulating a farewell befitting Wade’s indelible mark on this world.