Benton Co. community remembers fatal crash victim for his hard work

The Benton County community is remembering a man who is known as the ‘backbone’ of the community after he was killed in a crash Friday.
The Benton County community is remembering a man who is known as the ‘backbone’ of the community after he was killed in a crash Friday.

BENTON COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) – The Benton County community is remembering a man who is known as the “backbone” of the community.

Joe Kult, 74, was killed in a crash in rural Benton County.

“Joe spent his entire life in Benton County,” resident Ashley Bice said. “His most recent service is with the historical society here.”

Bice said Kult’s service didn’t just end there.

“He also served as a volunteer firefighter in Boswell for 30 years,” Bice explained. “He helped found the Illiana Antique Power Association, and he also served on the town council in Boswell.”

Kult was killed in the crash on Friday.

“We heard it on Saturday night and were completely surprised,” resident Gayle Guthridge said. “It’s just shocking that you leave home and you think you’ll be back; and you aren’t.”

Gayle and David Guthridge were members of the Benton County Historical Society with Kult. They said they’ll miss his leadership and work ethic.

“That’s what Benton County is all about,” David Guthridge said. “He never knew how to say no. He was really just involved in a lot of things in the county and he’s going to be greatly missed.”

Gayle Guthridge said, “He was recently a torch bearer for Benton County, and he had his antique tractor out at the Dan Patch Days in Benton County.”

Although he’ll be missed in the community, residents said they’ll never forget him.

“It’s a really big loss,” David Guthridge said. “It was such a shock when we first heard it. He just, like I said, he never knew how to say no. You would ask him to help with something, and he’d do it.”

Bice added, “I think knowing that Joe had those traditional values of service and a love for family and community, which are very much appreciated here in Benton County, and he’ll be dearly missed.”

Kult’s visitation is scheduled for Thursday from 5-8 p.m. A funeral mass is scheduled for Friday at 11 a.m. Both the visitation and funeral will be held at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Oxford.