November 4, 1935 – March 18, 2019
Ronald Charles Benfield was born to Emmett and Anna Benfield on November 4, 1935 in Oswego, Oregon. He graduated from Oswego High School and received his Bachelor in Finance from Lewis & Clark College in 1958. Ron served in the Oregon National Guard and was honorably discharged. In 1959 he married the lovely LaRita Kaye (known to all as Tinka) Riggs. In the very early 1960s they moved to Newport Oregon after he accepted a position with Central Lincoln People’s Utility District (PUD) as Finance Director. In Newport they raised three children, Steve, Kathryn and Daniel.
Ron was extremely active in the community of Newport. He was a member of the JayCees, Rotary, Chamber of Commerce and the Optimists. Ron served on the City of Newport Planning Commission 1968 to 1975; Lincoln County Foundation Board of Directors for many years and various capacities with Port of Newport and Newport Rural Fire. He became the public face of Central Lincoln PUD during his many years there. He passionately believed in Public Utility Districts and following retirement served 24 years as a Board of Directors member of Central Lincoln PUD, working with both Oregon Public Utility District and Northwest Public Power Association.
He and Tinka enjoyed a wonderful retirement, traveling many places in their RV. Ron’s love of fishing, camping, fishing, gardening, fishing, walking the bay front with his golden retrievers, fishing, hiking, fishing continued throughout his lifetime. In 2008 his beloved Tinka passed away not long before their 50th Anniversary. In 2014 he married Valerie Smith and they enjoyed a late-in-life unexpected gift of a loving relationship after years of widowhood for both.
Ron was predeceased by his wife Tinka and his son Steven. He is survived by daughter Kathryn, son Daniel (Susan), grandchildren Kaylara, Keegan and Kyrene, and wife Valerie, along with sister Carol Cranston, brother Dave, their spouses, niece and nephews. His golden retriever Annie is mourning his passing also.
A Celebration of Life will begin at the Newport Elks Club March 30, 2019 at 2:30. This follows a private, family only service at St. Stephens Episcopal Church, Newport.
The family requests no flowers but to please consider a donation to Seashore Literacy Center in Waldport Oregon, or a charity of your choice.