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Ralph Lester Benavidez Sr.

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Ralph Lester Benavidez Sr. Obituary
April 10, 1924 - July 17, 2015 Ralph Benavidez, 91 years old, was born in Los Angeles, California and had lived in Reseda, California, for the past 65 years. He served in the US Navy in the Pacific Theater during WWII, earning the enlisted rating of Machinist Mate 2nd Class and was awarded the WWII Victory Medal and Marksmen Award as part of "The Greatest Generation". During his working years, he was employed as a Master Machinist, a Senior Engineering Planner, and a Manufacturing Engineer by the Northrop Corporation, the Hughes Aircraft Corporation, and the Rocketdyne Division of North American Aviation/North American Rockwell/Boeing. Career highlights include a last minute emergency assignment to correct a mechanical problem detected just prior to one of the early Project Mercury Manned Rocket launches, and helping to develop/build the rocket engines used by the Mercury, Apollo, and Space Shuttle programs. He was a member of the American Legion and a WWII Honoree. A Master Mason, F&AM, he was also an active participant with his fellow veterans at reunions of the Navy's Advance Base Unit "Lion 4", which was forward based in the Admiralty Islands to provide emergency repair support to battle damaged fleet units. Ralph's family always came first. He and his wife, Mary, were world travelers. Ralph was a life long bowler. He loved his garden, yard, and home. He will be remembered as a kind humanitarian, ready to lend a helping hand or an understanding ear; a loving husband; a proud father, grandfather, and loyal friend. Ralph is survived by his wife Mary; daughters Cindy Jones of Bakersfield, CA, Debra Lash of Beaumont, CA, Judy Benavidez of Reseda, CA, Mary Benavidez of Canoga Park, CA, and daughter-in-law Harriet Benavidez of Haddonfield, NJ; son Ralph Benavidez of Haddonfield, NJ; sons-in-law Rick Jones of Bakersfield, CA, Tommy Hudnall of Running Springs, CA, William Lash of Beaumont, CA, and Dean Delevie of Reseda, CA; 12 grandchildren; and 5 great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents Laura and Calixto Lester Benavides; brother Fred Benavidez; daughters Leslie Hudnall and Janet Marie Benavidez. Special thanks to his caregivers, granddaughter & grandson Francesca and David Salazar for their kindness and 24 hour attention. Visitation will be held on August 3, 2015 from 12-1 pm at Arlington Mortuary, 9645 Magnolia Ave., Riverside, CA, with a graveside service following at Riverside National Cemetery at 1:45 PM, Staging Area 4. www.arlingtonmortuary.com
Published in the Los Angeles Times from July 29 to Aug. 2, 2015
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