Richard A. Benavides (1954 - 2017)

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  • "Generous and funny, and always a delight to be around...."
    - Karl Ohls
  • "As family and friends gather to honour Richard in..."
  • "Goodnight sweet prince. And flights of angels sing thee to..."
    - Tony Vita
  • "My thoughts and prayers go to his family! He was such a..."
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Longtime Alaska resident Richard Andrew Benavides, 63, passed away at home on July 22, 2017, surrounded by family, after a nine-year battle with cancer.
Military honors will be conducted at the Fort Richardson National Cemetery on Aug. 4, 2017, at 3 p.m. Followed by a Celebration of Life on Aug. 6, 2017, at the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts, Discovery Theatre, at 2 p.m.
Mr. Benavides had a very long and diverse career. From being a weekend weatherman for KTUU, an Anchorage Firefighter for 12 years, tour bus driver, member of IATSE Local 918, to 16 years with the Alaska State Legislature, working for Senator Johnny Ellis, Senator Bettye Davis and Senator Tom Begich. Richard was always finding ways to serve his community, from being a founding member of Bridge Builders of Alaska, Leadership Anchorage, to being AFD's first Hispanic Fire Inspector. He loved the arts and had a passion for theatre, improvisation, comedy and Dodgers baseball; he enjoyed camping, writing, history and was a Scrabble aficionado.
It is stated by his family that, "Richard's heart was filled with laughter, so much that he had to share it with all he met." His engaging smile and obvious interest in those he encountered led one person to say, "it's hard not to be friends with Richard." Complementing his compassionate and fun-loving heart was Richard's inquisitive and piercing mind, constantly eager to learn more about his world and the people in it.
Richard loved to create. Whether in his decades-long work acting, writing and directing in local theatre and improvisational comedy, or in his efforts as a staffer in the Alaska Legislature, Richard's ability to view situations for new angles helped create imaginative solutions in both arenas.
Above all, Richard loved his family and children. His overriding concerns as he came into his later years was leaving a legacy for his children that they could look upon proudly and use as an example for life. He dedicated his efforts to making his community a better place, and helping those less fortunate than he. No better legacy could he leave than that.
He was preceded in death by his father, Ricardo Benavides; and daughter, Marlene Benavides. Mr. Benavides is survived by his wife, Kristie; daughters, Ariana and Delaney Benavides of Anchorage; son, Richard Allen Benavides of Anchorage; grandchildren, Anthony Thomas of Wasilla, Alaska, Donovan Thomas of Oregon, Samohn and Ollie Benavides of Anchorage and William Benavides of Fairbanks, Alaska; mother, Evangelina Okumura; sister, Patricia Hodnefield of Washington; and several other loving family members.
Arrangements were cared for by the Anchorage Funeral Home & Crematory. Please visit Richard's Obituary and online guestbook at

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Anchorage Funeral Home & Crematory
1800 Dare Ave.
Anchorage, AK 99515
(907) 345-2244
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Published in Anchorage Daily News on Aug. 2, 2017
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