Richard Alan Benton, 69, of Bozeman, Montana, formerly of St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands and West Yellowstone, Montana, passed away Thursday, May 7, 2015.
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Richard was born March 13, 1946, in Bennington, Vermont, to James and Phyllis (Amidon) Benton. He achieved Eagle Scout status and graduated from Rutland High School in Rutland, Vermont, in 1964. From then he set out to lead an incredible life that started out with working on a farm in Martha's Vineyard where he got his start in construction. He then decided to head west ending up at Haight/Ashbury in San Francisco for a time before moving on through Oregon to Alaska where he panned for gold. Then it was on to Montana where he built log cabins and carved scrimshaw with a Blackfoot Indian Chief. He made his way back east and met his wife, Deborah in Naples, Florida, where they married in 1983. They and their two children, James and Julia, moved to St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, in 1987 where Richard founded Benton Construction Company, Inc. after Hurricane Hugo devastated St. Croix. Some of his most notable projects there include the Ingeborg Nesbitt Clinic, AT&T Cable Landing Station, Divi Carina Bay Casino, Global Crossing Fiber Optic Terminal Building and University of the Virgin Islands Dormitories and Administration Buildings. He also built the Bethel AME Church in Naples, Florida and the Jump Station at Yellowstone Airport in Montana.
For fun, he enjoyed hunting, skiing, camping, scuba diving, and woodworking.
Richard is survived by his wife, Deborah Cambridge-Benton; son, James Robert Benton; daughter, Julia Shani Benton; sister, Janet Benton Ellis; mother-in-law, Julia K Cambridge, whom he affectionately called "Ma"; and four grandchildren, Mia Julia Benton-Huggins, Croix Julian Benton-Huggins, Olivia Juliette Benton, and Ayla Brynn Benton.
He was preceded in death by his parents and brother, John Ellsworth Benton.
Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service. www.dokkennelson.com
Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service
113 South Willson Avenue
Bozeman, MT 59715
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on May 13, 2015