Richard Cary Benner
Richard Cary Benner, born Jan. 30, 1947 in Eugene, Oregon, went gently into his Heavenly Father’s arms in his sleep in Polson, Montana on July 30, 2021.
The only book that Dick ever read was the Bible, and he had it right on his table where he sat each morning. He had lots of extended family, cousins and friends that loved him.
Dick was a very good cartoonist, and when he was younger, he frequently would draw caricatures on napkins when the family gathered!
Dick was a natural athlete and became a golden gloves champion in Kalispell when he was younger. When he was a freshman at St. Regis High School, he made the varsity basketball team and played in the Divisional tournament that same freshman year.
Dick graduated from St. Regis High School in 1965 as Valedictorian of his class.
Jim, our brother shares that before Jim had his driver's license, Dick talked him into taking Dad’s Oldsmobile for a solo spin. Naturally, the county Highway patrolmen were nearby and gave Jim the ticket, how’s that for luck?!!
Dick volunteered in the Army to serve his country, and as more luck would have it, he landed a tour of duty in Panama during the Vietnam War.
After he was discharged, he attended pilot training school in Missoula under the GI bill. He was in the Reserves until 1971.
At one point, both Jim and Dick lived in Billings, and Dick would frequently drop off candy for his niece, Martha. Elaine suggested that maybe he should bring fruit instead of candy. Not long after that, Jim and Elaine came home to find a whole pineapple on their porch that Dick had left!
Dick sold cars for a living and did quite well. He worked for the Pierce’s in Billings and Great Falls and various dealerships. The only way he got a vacation was to quit. Mom had quite a collection of photos of Richard Benner ‘Car Salesman of the Month.’ He did retire early at age 62 because of his severe loss of hearing.
Dick’s passion was fishing. He always carried a rod and reel in his car and he could sniff out many a good fishing hole.
Jim shared that he, personally never got into fishing off the Pier in Polson with a sausage soaked in WD 40, but it worked. He loved his friends and loved to grab a burger and shoot some pool at the VFW with his Vet buddies.
Dick lived his life on his own terms and never strode to impress anyone. He did love family, and when mom moved from Great Falls area, so did he. He loved the camaraderie of family and the special dinners.
For years here, Dick lived with his mom, did the lawns, and shoveled the snow, and at family parties, he would slip off to his room when he was tired. Her death affected him greatly, and after her death, he had his own apartment with a lovely view of the lake, and brand new furniture, but life just wasn’t the same for him.
We’re happy he is at peace in his heavenly home.
Family who preceded Dick in death were: Albert J. Benner (died at 45); his bonus dad, Lynn S. Brown (June 25, 1988); his beautiful mom, Pearl (Main) Benner/ Brown/Jackson (12/27/2017); his sister, Alberta A. Nebel (2017), and pastor brother, Rodney Lee Benner (2018); all of our aunts and uncles have passed and Pearl, his mom, was from a family of 12.
Dick is survived by his five siblings: Sharon Benner Adamson (Jack) Polson; Jim Benner (Elaine) Las Vegas; Mary E. (Benner)/Aaronson, Florida; Gary Benner (Kim) Billings and Bruce W. Brown(Suzanne) Colstrip. He had over 20 nieces and nephews and he spoiled them with gifts whenever he could.
Dick’s Celebration of Life Memorial will be held at the Polson Community Church at 11 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021, with Military Honors and a reception following.
Burial will be at the St. Regis Cemetery at 1 p.m. Friday, Sept. 10.
We invite all of you who knew Dick or the family to please attend. Church services located at 1814 First St. East, Polson, MT 59860.
Memories and condolences may be sent to the family at www.lakefuneralhomeandcremation.com.
Arrangements are under the care of The Lake Funeral Home in Polson.