John Dennis Benson
Date of Birth - December 22, 1936 Place of Birth – San Bernardino, CA
Date of Death - April 29, 2017 Place of Death – Youngtown, AZ
You’ve heard of the ‘Coat of Many Colors,’ well John was a man of many interests and accomplishments. He is survived by his daughter, Barbara Benson-Larsen, who resides in Las Vegas and by his son, Blake Benson, who resides in Buckeye, AZ.
He is probably best remembered as a man of music as for many years he did the sound for Arizona Songwriter’s Association at the Balloon Festivals and other outdoor events around the Valley.
He was also a part of a duo known as Ricochet. He and his music partner filled the Valley with music at venues such as the Parada del Sol and at various restaurants and Service clubs around town.
John had a music studio, Juniper Productions, and recorded many of Phoenix’s talented musicians and singers. His library of master recordings was extensive.
Working for Fender Musical Instruments as their service tech for many years was one of the highlights of John’s working career. He enjoyed every minute of the experience and he owned quite a few Fender instruments and amps. I don’t think there was an amp he couldn’t fix or a guitar he couldn’t repair.
John had the privilege of being the only non-military member of a NASA team on board a ship that tracked the first spaceship the USA put into space. It was the Apollo program and he had many stories about that assignment
John was a police officer in Yuma, AZ and he also owned a TV repair shop there, all while raising his young family.
John’s ability to ‘fix’ anything was amazing. If it was broken, he would fix it – it was just that simple. He fixed everything from amplifiers and musical instruments to cars and electronic equipment. He fixed problems that seemed insurmountable by shrinking them down to size. And he repaired the broken life of a single mother of three – me. John gave me a reason to smile and has for the past 30 years. He’s been my ‘go to’ guy for all of these years and I hope I’ve been able to be his ‘go to’ girl when he needed me most.
I think his son summed up his father best by saying: "Valhalla received another warrior. My pops, John D. Benson, left a long and rich legacy; worked for NASA, was a policeman in Yuma, worked as an engineer for every electronic company in the valley and was with Fender for years as well as a father to his children. We will miss him."
Rest in peace, my Mr. B. You are truly loved and sorely missed.
There will not be a service as his children will be following family tradition and scattering his ashes. If you would like to pay tribute to John the family requests you donate to LifeStream of Cook Health Care in Youngtown, AZ. They took incredibly kind, caring and loving care of John, and of us, as John’s life ebbed and ended.