Cover photo for Richard P. Benzinger's Obituary
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Richard P. Benzinger

October 29, 1934 — December 25, 2022

Richard P. Benzinger

 

Richard (Dick) P. Benzinger Sr., age 88, passed away peacefully in his home in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, with his loving wife of 64 years at his side, on Dec. 25, 2022.

Richard was born in Buffalo, N.Y., on Oct. 29, 1934, to Henry and Alice (Bieler) Benzinger. Raised on a farm, Richard learned early on the ideals of hard work and strong character. From his early years in school and graduating from Orchard Park High School, he was an outgoing leader and displayed his exceptional sense of humor.

The Benzinger family farm included a dairy operation and the land which was leased from E.I.du Pont Nemours & Company since 1906 also housed DuPont explosives sheds. His father was a trucker for the company, and Richard followed in his footsteps taking over the operations of the farm and explosives hauling.

A member of Alpha Kappa Psi Fraternity, Richard graduated from University of Buffalo while working the farm and driving a school bus. Despite that busy schedule, in 1956 he managed to meet a young Albright Art School student named Yvonne at a dance. They married in 1958, and shortly after, Richard enlisted in the United States Army Reserves Medical Corps where he received numerous commendations for his leadership.

Richard and Yvonne settled in nearby Hamburg, N.Y., to raise their children, Richard Jr., Tricia and Brian. Richard continued to work in the explosives business at the farm until DuPont and Erie County decided the farm site was an ideal location for the Buffalo Bills new stadium in 1973. Using his explosives and business background, Richard took his hardworking farm boy ethics, leadership skills, and family with him, as his work led him from Hamburg to Watertown, N.Y., to West Virginia, and finally across the country to Coeur d’Alene and Pocatello, Idaho. As Richard was once quoted with saying, “I have a lot of faith in my creator, He’s always told me if you can change it, change it, but if you can’t, move on.”

Richard was active in professional and social clubs, but most devoted to his faith and church. As a proud member of the Knights of Columbus and past Grand Knight 4th Degree, you could find him in his element among that camaraderie of friends in faith. Christian friendships extended beyond his Catholic church roots too, as he was just as active socializing with “those Lutherans” from Yvonne’s church.

Life in the Northwest suited the outdoorsman in him as he relished continuing the hunting, fishing and camping opportunities that he grew up with. He also loved working in his shop “tinkering” and fixing things. At retirement, he and Yvonne finally settled in Coeur d’Alene, where he added golf to his otherwise active social life. Richard was the kind of guy you could always ask a favor of and count on him to be there, his home was open to any and all who were willing to sit with a drink and shoot the breeze for a while.

Richard was a devoted husband, father and grandfather.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Henry and Alice; his siblings, Ruth and Donald; and his eldest son, Richard Jr. He is survived by his wife, Yvonne; his daughter, Tricia (Kerry) Schierman; son Brian (Summer) Benzinger; and grandsons Caden, Carson and Everett Benzinger. He often said St. Pius X Catholic Church was his “church family." His fantastic neighbors and circles of friends from both St. Pius X and Christ The King Lutheran churches were especially dear to him. His family would like to thank all those dear friends, family, and acquaintances that made his “golden years” truly golden. We also thank the hospice workers who helped us all grapple with the reality that this would be our last Christmas with him.

Memorials may be made to Orchard Ridge Senior Living, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. A Memorial Mass will be celebrated 11 a.m. Jan. 7, 2023, at St. Pius X Catholic Church, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. A reception will follow the mass. The mass can be live-streamed or viewed later via links on the church website, stpiuscda.org. A private inurnment will follow at a later date. 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Richard P. Benzinger, please visit our flower store.

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Saturday, January 7, 2023

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