Passed away at home on Thursday, July 06, 2017 surrounded by family. Luis was born in Guantanamo, Cuba, on December 23, 1947, the son of the late Mauricio and Francisca (Mondelo) Benitez. At the age of 21 he made a courageous escape from Cuba swimming over seven miles until being picked up by the Navy. He came to call America his home and always cherished his freedom. He was a hard worker and found employment with Pfizer and retired after 35 years of service. Luis had a great personality and made friends wherever he went. His smile, laughter and stories made him a joy to be around. When not working he loved to be outdoors and was an avid hunter and fisherman. Luis was a long-time member of the Kalamazoo Rod and Gun Club, enjoyed sports, especially bowling and softball. Above all, Luis loved his family and leaves them with many wonderful memories. He is survived by two sons, Eric (Michelle Warnicke) Benitez and Derk Benitez; five grandchildren, Preston, Hunter, Dakotah, Alex and Nivyan; a great-grandson, Hunter Huey; six siblings, Manuel, Leo, Aurelio, Secundino, Ana and Margot; many nieces, nephews and friends. He was also preceded in passing by two siblings. A visitation will be held at Joldersma & Klein Funeral Home on Friday, July 14, 2017 beginning at 3:00 PM, immediately followed by a memorial service beginning at 5:00 PM. Memorial contributions may be made to the West Michigan Cancer Center or Hospice Care of S.W. Michigan, c/o the funeral home. Family and friends may share a condolence message online at www.joldersma-klein.com.