Benny married Polly Handley on Aug. 22, 1959.
He graduated from Gideon High School in 1954 and went on to earn his B.S. in Education in 1958. Upon graduation, he served six months in the U.S. Army. After returning from service, he earned his M.S.E. and Specialist degrees from Arkansas State University.
Benny McAtee's career in education began at Clarkton, where he taught and coached his first three years, then moved to Campbell. In 1964, he became the high school principal in Clarkton before moving to Senath in 1970. He remained the principal at Senath-Hornersville High School through 1994, dedicating 36 years to education.
Benny was an avid baseball and basketball fan. Some of his favorite teams were the ASU Redwolves, St. Louis Cardinals, local high schools, and all sports in which his grandchildren participated.
Quail hunting with his friends was another of Benny's favorite hobbies.
After retirement, he took pride in managing the family farms.
Survivors include his wife of 50 years, Polly McAtee, of Kennett; one son, Bart McAtee and his wife, Laurie, of Kennett; one daughter, Marketta Childers and her husband, Gary, of Jonesboro, Ark.; four grandchildren, Haley and Garrett Childers, of Jonesboro, and Sydni and Handley Grace McAtee, of Kennett, and other relatives and many friends.
Visitation will be from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Thursday, March 4, at McDaniel Funeral Home in Kennett.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m., Friday, March 5, at St. Cecilia Catholic Church in Kennett with Father Allan Saunders officiating.
Burial will follow in the Portageville Cemetery. Pallbearers are Larry Woolverton, Don Averill, Lloyd Phillips, Jim Isbell, Jim McCord and Keith Milligan.