Published: February 18, 2013
Ben Canoy, 50, an Arkansas businessman and restaurateur passed away on Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013, in Fort Smith, Ark. Ben was a longtime resident of Fort Smith. He was born on June 23, 1962, in Watsonville, Santa Cruz County, Calif. to Billie Lee and Lorena (Townsend) Canoy. At a young age, Ben, left California and returned to Arkansas with his family. He attended Greenwood Schools and Westark Community College in Fort Smith. Mr. Canoy was of the Christian faith. For several years, Ben served as the circulation district manager for Donrey Media Group, rising early to ensure delivery of the Southwest Times Record and Arkansas Democrat Gazette. He was the founder of a Fort Smith eatery which still bears his name, Benson's Grill. He continued to develop and expand his business ventures which included Advanced Amusement Co., which at its peak was the largest amusement operator in Arkansas. Ben was a co-founder of the Neon Restaurant Group which operates the Lucy's Diner franchise, where he served as the company's General Manager. He was a veteran of the United States Marine Corps. Mr. Canoy is survived by his son, Jason Carl Canoy of Greenwood, Ark.; a grandson, Ethan Lee Canoy of Greenwood, Ark.; a brother, Robert A. (Bobby) Canoy and his wife Colleen of Fort Smith, Ark.; a niece, Michelle Canoy Gullick and her husband David of Greenwood, Ark.; two aunts, Dorothy Henderson of Rolling Fork, Miss., and Julia Ogbin of Lawton, Okla.; an uncle, K. B. Townsend of Las Vegas, Nev. and numerous friends. Mr. Canoy was preceded in death by his parents, and his grandparents Robert L. and Corie (Metcalf) Canoy. A private family service will be held at Vinita Cemetery in Hackett, Ark. under direction of Ocker-Putman Funeral Home of Fort Smith. Reverend Steve Wingo of Goddard United Methodist Church of Fort Smith, Ark. will officiate the service. In lieu of flowers, a memorial donation may be sent to The Sebastian County Humane Society, P.O. Box 10953 Fort Smith, Ark. 72917. Online condolences may be made at www.ockerputmanfuneralhome.com.