Our beloved Wally Benton died in his sleep the morning of August 16 at age 95.
He was born October 23, 1925, Dudley Wallace Benton in Nogales, Arizona, to loving parents Hugh and Dolores Benton. Youngest of three, his older siblings are Lola May White (101 years old) and Hugh Benton (deceased).
He was president of his senior class and valedictorian. He enlisted in the U.S. Army and served for two and a half years. In 1950 he achieved his bachelor’s degree in architecture after attending University of Arizona and University of Kansas.
In 1951 he moved to California. He married Dorothy Jean Stoneman in 1954 and they had four children together, residing in Mar Vista and Pacific Palisades.
In 1956 he partnered with architect Donald Park to start their own firm, and in 1970 Pete Candreva joined. The firm, Benton/Park/Candreva, dba Arctec, Inc., designed homes, schools, churches, libraries and commercial buildings all over Southern California for over four decades.
Wally and Jean divorced, and he married Shirley Enkeboll in 1984. After Wally’s retirement, they bought a home in Huntington Beach. For years, they loved walking the wetlands at Bolsa Chica Basin State Marine Conservation Area.
Pursuing his great love of singing, Wally joined the Singing Goodtimers and ultimately led the group as director for 17 years. He loved this wonderful group, putting on free performances year-round, bringing music and joy to school kids, senior centers and county fairs.
All who met Wally felt his genuine warmth. It was undeniable. He is missed—survived by his wife Shirley, his four children Bill, Robin, Mary, and Carolyn, and their families.
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