Lucas Robert Benjamin was born on August 1, 1985 to Mark Benjamin and Cynthia Benjamin, and passed away on September 29, 2013 in a tragic plane accident that also took the lives of his father Mark and two others. Luke was born in Malibu, California, graduated from Malibu High School, and went on to Northern Arizona University to study Construction Management. After graduating in 2007, Luke began working for his father Mark in the family business, MorleyBuilders. Luke was elated at the challenge and opportunity to become the 3rd generation Benjamin to work for the company his grandfather started over 65 years ago. After just a few years of working in the field, Luke was quickly promoted to Senior Project Engineer and was hitting his stride at the company and in enjoying life. Lucas had many passions in life including climbing, engineering, cars, planes, skiing and playing with his two cats, CJ and Collins. By far Luke's biggest passion was for mountaineering. Luke became a skilled alpinist and mountaineer, climbing a dozen mountains including Mt. Rainer. He had also traveled to Ecuador to climb Antisana (18,870ft), Cotopaxi (19,347ft) and Chimborazo (20,560ft). Luke loved pushing himself to the limit and lived to always climb one step higher and further than he had ever before. Luke was always planning his next adventure - he was set to climb Aconcagua (22,837ft) in Argentina in December 2014. As a kid, Luke always played with Legos or erector sets and as an adult he would always be at work on a project building something for his home. It was no surprise when he began to work for the family construction business. Luke was very close with his mother Cynthia, sharing a love for animals and cars. Luke would often travel with Matt and Mark to Ketchum, Idaho - enjoying skiing with his brother or showing his dad the newest mobile app. Throughout their travels and adventures, Luke and Matt were always guided by their father's desire to dive head first into the cultures they explored. These family experiences shaped Luke into a curious and compassionate man who always believed in the potential of those around him. Known as a hardworking and yet humble prankster, Luke will be greatly missed. Luke is survived by his mother Cynthia, his brother Matt and Matt's fiancée, Jessica Lisi. A memorial service will be held for Luke and Mark on Sunday, October 20, 2013 at 3:30 p.m. at the California Science Center, 700 Exposition Park Drive, Los Angeles. Contributions in honor of Luke's memory can be made to your local chapter of the Humane Society.
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Published in the Los Angeles Times from Oct. 11 to Oct. 18, 2013