Theodore Michael Benninghoven passed away of natural causes, on May 5, 2020 in Redwood City.

Ted, or “Ben,” as he was known, was born July 15, 1943 in San Francisco to Howard Edger Benninghoven and Irene Zelma Burgess. He was the oldest of four children, with two brothers, Thomas and Steven, and one sister, Mary.

In 1950 his family moved to Zenia with his grandfather, Edward Burgess. There Ted attended a one-room school house for the next eight years. He then moved in with family members in Fortuna to attend Fortuna High School. After graduating in 1961, Ted followed in his father’s footsteps and joined the US Navy.

Ted served in the US Navy for 28 years. He served on the USS Fletcher DDE 443, USS Walker DD 517, USS Energy MSO 436, USS Reeves DLG 24, and the USS Enterprise CUN 63. He retired in 1989 off the USS Enterprise as a Senior Chief Petty Officer (E8) Radioman.

Ted met his wife, Karen C. Hoffman (Kaycee), in February of 1968. They were married on April 26, 1968. They enjoyed 52 years together. They have three daughters, Katherine, Mary and Margret.

After retirement from the Navy in 1989, Ted and Kaycee moved to Eureka to be closer to family. Ted worked for Pinkerton Security and then worked for Louisiana Pacific as the Chief of Security and Fire Marshall until he fully retired in 2011.

Ted enjoyed reading, shooting, hunting, photography, leather work, carpentry and a good pun. He was an accomplished self-taught musician. He played the banjo, guitar, mandolin and multiple wind instruments. He loved spending time with family, singing in the car, a good story and tinkering in his shop. He was a great lover of cats, especially black ones. He was an avid supporter of Miranda’s Rescue in Fortuna, and adopted many a pet from them over the years. He was always there to help out his family, give you great advice, and tell a bad dad joke. He was an avid reader and instilled this in his daughters from a very young age.

Ted is survived by his wife Karen (Kaycee), his daughter Katherine and husband Roger, daughter Mary and husband Douglas, and daughter Margret and husband William. He had two grandchildren, Mariko and Michael, and a step-grandson, Cyler.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Miranda’s Rescue.


The obituary above was submitted on behalf of Ted Benninghoven’s family. The Lost Coast Outpost runs obituaries of Humboldt County residents at no charge. See guidelines here.