|Birth: ||Sep. 12, 1921|
Los Angeles County
|Death: ||Jul. 19, 2006|
San Bernardino County
Don Benson, 84, of Etiwanda, CA died July 19, 2006 at home.
Born September 12, 1921 in Downey, CA and a resident of Etiwanda for 41 years, he was the youngest of five sons born to Axel and Margaret Benson. His father was a Swedish immigrant and his mother's family was from Ireland, with Magaret and her siblings being the first American-born children of the Armstrong Family. He was raised in the Los Angeles area in his younger years where his parents had a family restaurant in City Terrace. Don attended El Monte High School and worked on the school annual, doing several of the book's illustrations. One of his favorite pasttimes was roller-skating and he served as President of the "Rusty Wheels" Skate Club. Don held various jobs over the years, including machining bilge pumps for WWII victory ships and also wrote for the company paper as an editorial cartoonist. He worked in the casket industry for 21 years, thirteen of which, he was plant manager. In his later career, he worked for General Electric Aviation Division at Ontario Airport, Ontario, CA, painting for the "Fan Stater" project, the fan turbines of a jet engine for the C-130 cargo planes, as well as helicopter parts and MRI tables. He retired in 1987.
Don taught himself the distinctive art of woodgraining (the act of skillfully applying paint to a prepared surface to make it look like wood). Through a close friend, he was encouraged to apply his woodgraining technique on antique automobiles, where the dashboards and window frames were hand-painted to look like natural wood. Over the years, Don had done hundreds of restoration projects across the United States. His clientele included actors and auto collectors; his work has been displayed at Don Laughlin Museum, Nevada, the Peterson Automotive Museum, Los Angeles, CA. Articles and pictures of his work has appeared in such magazines as the nationwide "White Triangle News" (a Hudson/Essex/Terraplane club publicat ion) and various car magazines.
Don liked to paint with acrylics and had done several wonderful scenic pictures as well as portraits. He especially liked the challenge of painting on various mediums, such as wood, saw blades, hand saws and pans. Other loves included family, baseball, fishing, traveling and family. He was a member of the California Inland Chapter of the Hudson Car Club.
He was loved and respected by many, both family and friends and all who met him; his presence will be deeply missed by those he touched.
Don is survived by his daughter, Donna; daughter-in-law, June; grandchildren, Shelley, Chad and Cami; great-grandsons, Gary and Andrew. He was preceded in death by his wife, Alma L. and son, Gary.
Bellevue Cemetery and Mausoleum
San Bernardino County
Created by: So We Always Remember
Record added: Jul 22, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 15009772