John H. Benge passed away on May 1, 2021, a week shy of his 92nd birthday. John was born on May 9, 1929 in Princeton, Idaho, growing up on Hatter Creek. In his early twenties John got into his lifelong passion of working in the logging industry. His first job was working the log pond at the Potlatch Lumber Mill in Potlatch, Idaho.
In 1952, John married the love of his life, Doris West. In 1954, big timber called, and the young couple moved to Klamath. John worked for few different “logging outfits” in the Klamath area. In 1960, logging took the couple to Arcata, where John and Doris raised their family in Sunny Brae. The couple lived in Arcata for 61 years. John worked for Simpson Timber Company for 34 years, retiring in 1992. During his time with Simpson, John received hundreds of Better Method Awards and made many lifelong friends. In the early 70s, John started the traditional July 4th picnic at Camp Bauer, which Green Diamond still continues to this day.
After retirement John and Doris hit the road in their motor home, touring the country, making memorable trips to Alaska, Branson, Missouri and all places in between. After putting many thousands of miles on the motor home John and Doris decided to buy a second home in Yuma, spending the winter months with friends and family in the Arizona sun and summer months in the Humboldt County Fog. The couple also sailed the seas taking cruises to Alaska, Mexico, Panama and the Caribbean.
Family was important to John, who was known as “Papa” by his grandkids. Together, he and Doris raised three children and were blessed with six grandkids and five great-grandkids.
John was an active community member, serving 50 plus years in the Shriners and was a 32nd Degree Master Mason serving in the Six Rivers Masonic Lodge #106. John is also a Life Member of the Eureka Elks Lodge #652 and a charter member of the Bigfoot Good Sam Club. John was proud of his time with the Arcata Police Volunteer Patrol, receiving Volunteer of the Year in 2006. John never could say no when someone needed help and could fix just about anything. He enjoyed restoring classic automobiles and later in life took up woodworking.
John is survived by his wife of 68 years Doris and their three children: Jerry (Lori), Jonda and Jason (Yesenia). He also leaves behind his grandchildren Johnny, Sarah, Dillon, Krystal, Hailey, Reylan and his great-grandchildren Kiara, Raina, Lucas, Ellie and Kairi. Preceding John in death are his son Johnny K, parents Ella May and John “Dick” Benge, sisters Claire, Geitha, Peggy and Judy, son-in-law Arlis Fike, father and mothers-in-law Kenny and Alma West, and his brother-in-law Richard West.
Family and friends are invited to a Celebration of Life which will take place on June 13, 2021 beginning at 1 p.m., a Mason Memorial will take place at 2 p.m. with a reception to follow. The Celebration Life/Memorial will be at Six Rivers Masonic Lodge — 251 Bayside Rd, Arcata.
The obituary above was submitted on behalf of John Benge’s loved ones. The Lost Coast Outpost runs obituaries of Humboldt County residents at no charge. See guidelines here.