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Alan Benson

Benson, Alan
Educator, mountaineer, and resident of Newbury Park from 1966 until 2005, Alan Benson passed away from a rare and incurable brain disorder, Multiple System Atrophy. Born in Los Angeles on March 28, 1937 to native Californians Ernest and Jane (Erickson) Benson, Alan attended Washington High where he edited the school newspaper and went on to UCLA where he graduated with honors before serving two years in the army. He is survived by his wife, Precy, two daughters, Erica Benson-Hallock of Spokane, WA and Kerry Duncan of Greenville, NC. He is also survived by his sons-in-law Bob and Stu and four grandchildren: Gillian, Kirsten, Cameron and Will. The baffling disease had caused him to move to Camarillo's Leisure Village in 2005. For 34 years he taught social studies at Reseda High. Voted favorite teacher by many graduating classes, he was presented the Apple Award by Mayor Bradley in 1988 for excellence in education. Sponsor of the school hackysack club and initiator of numerous mock trials, Alan championed critical, independent thinking and abhorred education as regurgitation, blind obedience posing as patriotism, and unquestioning orthodoxy of all types. Adventure characterized his life. He climbed all the 14,000' peaks in the Sierras, led early explorations of the cave system atop Boney Ridge, and often ventured the entire course of the Sespe Creek from Highway 33 thru the massive boulder fields to Fillmore. For over 20 years Alan led Sierra Club hikes and in 1981 achieved the Senior Mountaineering Award. The world of ideas was also important to him, and he was a frequent contributor of letters to Southland newspapers. Private interment at Conejo Mountain Memorial Park. Memorial service to be held on Saturday, May 13th from 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m., at Banyan Park at 2605 Erinlea Avenue in Newbury Park.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from May 11 to May 13, 2006
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