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David Robert Benton died on February 11, 2023 in Hood River, Oregon. Dave was greatly loved and will be missed by his family and friends.
David was a people person who took time to get to know others. He could meet someone, and ... Read More
David Robert Benton died on February 11, 2023 in Hood River, Oregon. Dave was greatly loved and will be missed by his family and friends.
David was a people person who took time to get to know others. He could meet someone, and in a few minutes know significant portions of their story. Discussions with friends and acquaintances often centered around one of Dave’s greatest loves…cars. Many times, when family would talk about someone from the past, Dave would not recall who they were…until someone could connect the person with the vehicle they drove. Then he would immediately remember them.
David was born May 11, 1934 in Escondido, California to Lawrence Benton and Margaret Moore Benton. Lawrence was a heavy equipment operator and moved around from job to job, taking the family with him. Dave and his brothers and sister grew up traveling in Utah, Arizona and California. His high school graduation was in 1952 from Mountain Empire Union High School in Campo, California.
Career changes were a major feature of Dave’s life. His interest in cars got him his first jobs, working as a mechanic. In the early 1950’s he started working for the California State Forestry, working his way up to Forest Firefighter Foreman. His time with the forestry department was interrupted by military service in the late 1950’s when he was drafted into the army. During his time in the army, Dave served on Eniwetok Atoll in the Pacific. He was there during the above-the-surface test detonations of atomic bombs done by the US military. After his time in the army, he returned to the California Forestry, eventually working in places such as Miller Station, Julian, San Marcos and Slack Canyon.
Dave intended to stay with the California Forestry, but conflicts with Sabbath observance cut this career short. As a result, he decided to go to college to become a teacher, specializing in industrial arts and history. While taking a full load of classes, Dave also worked a full time job with Ace Drill Bushings as the night manager. He graduated with his bachelor’s degree in 1970 from the La Sierra campus of Loma Linda University. His teaching career took the Benton family to California, North Dakota and Pennsylvania. While in North Dakota, Dave completed his Master’s Degree in Industrial Arts from Bemidji State University.
Dave married M. Irene Martin in 1957. Together they raised a son Daniel, three daughters – Dava, Darla, and Amanda, and fostered over 50 children.
In 1995, Dave, Irene and young Amanda followed the next older daughter, Darla, to Oregon, where he bought and operated a lock shop until retiring. After retirement, Dave filled his time with family and cars…continuing to do body work for fun and extra income. In 2018, their son Dan moved from Maryland to live with them and help. In November of 2020, Irene died, leaving a huge hole in the family. Those remaining became closer than ever to Dave. In the summer of 2022, Dave became a great grandfather to a boy named Cairn. Dave was a proud great grandpa, often saying that Cairn was a son and grandson because of others, but “he’s great because of me.”
Right up to the end, there were many tasks and projects Dave was looking forward to completing. His spring and summer were already planned out, with a road trip around the country with Dan and their little furry companion, Olivia, the family dog. Car projects abounded with a 1948 Chevy in progress and a completed 48 Chevy and Model T to keep running. He loved taking these cars to local shows and the Hood River parade.
Most important to Dave was his walk with God. Spiritual matters occupied his thoughts, his energy, and his efforts. He was generous with his time and his resources for the work of the church and the spreading of the good news of salvation through Jesus. He had a lot of hopes and dreams, and the greatest of these was that he would be reunited with his family…his friends…his loved ones, when Jesus returns. The family prays that each one of Dave’s loved ones will make their relationship with Jesus the number one priority in their lives.
With his love for Jesus and his church family in mind; in place of flowers, donations can be made to the Hood River Seventh-day Adventist Church, PO Box 87, Hood River, OR 97031-1409.
Dave is preceded in death by his parents, Lawrence and Margaret Benton, several of his siblings, Don Benton, Douglas Benton, Pat Benton, Azora Benton, and Daryl Benton; and his wife Irene. He is survived by his sister LouAnn Monk and brother Mike Benton; his four children Dan Benton, Dava White, Darla Milam, and Amanda Alvarez; his nine grandchildren, Lauren and her husband Alex, David, Hanna, Eric and his wife Sarah, Dylan and his wife Aliz, Jenny, Alex, Christian, and Jayden; and his great grandson Cairn
Arrangements are under the direction of Anderson's Tribute Center • 1401 Belmont Avenue, Hood River, Oregon 97031. Visit www.AndersonsTributeCenter.com to leave a note of condolence for the family.
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1401 Belmont Avenue • Hood River, OR, 97031
204 E. 4th Street • The Dalles, OR, 97058
Columbia Gorge Cremation
1401 Belmont Avenue • Hood River, OR, 97031