Cecil L. Benintendi passed away on July 15, 2007, at his home in Baker City, Ore., in the presence of his family. He will be remembered as a loving husband, devoted father, grandfather and great-grandfather.
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A graveside Service was held Wednesday, July 18, 2007, 10 a.m. at Mt. Hope Cemetery. Pastor John Goodyear of the Baker Valley Church of Christ officiated. A reception was held following the service in Baker City.
Cecil was born June 16, 1919, in Joplin, Mo., the son of Frank and Rosa Benintendi. He was the middle child in a family of nine children. He attended grade schools in Missouri, Colorado and Oklahoma. His education was interrupted to support his family. In 1938 he drove his family to Oregon to fulfill his dying father’s wish to see the Pacific Ocean. He settled in Ontario, Ore., where he met his “Eve”, Katie. They were married in 1941. They recently celebrated their 66th wedding anniversary.
During Cecil’s lifetime, he had several careers. He was a cook in the Army from 1942 to 1945. After his discharge from the service he was a police officer in Ontario until their move to the City of Baker in 1952. He was a police officer in Baker from 1952 to 1959. He once gave a parking ticket to his wife and one to Marilyn Monroe. Marilyn Monroe remembered him that year with a Christmas card. He owned Sunnyslope Dairy and was employed by Chet Smith, drove school bus, farmed, worked at Rainbow Service Station and Roy and Owen’s Tire Service. He returned to school at EOU, earned a 4.0 and obtained a degree in refrigeration at the age of 62. He was known as “The Cool Man”.
Cecil was a life-long learner and returned to school when many others would have considered retiring. His interests were varied. He enjoyed flowers, wildlife and camping with Good Sam. He and Katie loved to go to the Oregon coast with their children and grandchildren. Cecil and Katie traveled to Alaska, Canada and Colorado to enjoy the scenery and visit family. In October, 2005, they took their first airplane trip to their granddaughter, Angela’s, wedding in Maui, Hawaii. Other hobbies included horseshoes, bowling and caring for his pigeons. He loved to sing, especially on road trips.
Cecil is survived by his wife, Katie, four sons and a daughter. Terry and wife, Hazel of Huntington, Ore., Stan and wife, Susie of Corbett, Ore.; Jerry and wife, Pam of Boise, Idaho, Paul K. Benintendi of Baker City, Ore., and Tim and wife, Rita of Fairview, Ore.; twelve grandchildren; 17 great grandchildren; a sister, Beverly Johnson of California.
Contributions in his memory may be made to the Relay for Life or American Cancer Society through Gray’s West and Company.
Used with permission from: The Record Courier, Baker City, Oregon, July 19, 2007
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor