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BENSON – Richard Alan Benson, age 65, a resident of Rio Rancho, N.M., went to be with the Lord June 8, 2008. He is survived by his beloved wife, Kerry J. Benson; his beloved sons Steven Stearns of Fairfield, Conn.; Arik Benson of Las Vegas, Nev.; and Mark Benson of Rio Rancho, N.M; his mother Pauline Peters of Alamogordo, N.M.; his five grandchildren, Ben and Maddie Stearns, Jake Benson, and Dane and Kade Benson; his brother Ronald Benson and his wife, Geri of Lancaster, Penn.; and his sisters Janice Potter of Tijeras, N.M., and Paula Peters of Alamogordo, N.M. He was preceded in death by his father, George Morris Benson of Tucumcari, N.M., and his brother-in-law Mickey Potter of Tijeras, N.M.
Dick was born and raised in Tucumcari where he distinguished himself as an avid sportsman. He took great pride in his football team winning the State Championship during his senior year. He was inducted into the Rattlers Hall of Fame and was on the Honor Society. He attended UNM his freshman year where he was one of the first Lobos to use the new football stadium. He left UNM to attend the Air Force Academy in 1961, graduating in 1965. Richard was stationed in Izmir, Turkey for much of the Vietnam War and was honorably discharged as a Major in 1975. Following his military career, he accepted a position with the Department of Energy in Washington, D.C.
Moving to Los Alamos in 1983, he served in a variety of capacities at Los Alamos National Laboratory, but most recently as a program manager until his retirement in 2006. He was a key player in geo thermal energy research and helped form the Big Sky partnership for Carbon Sequestration. He moved with his wife, Kerry, to Tijeras, N.M., and served as senior vice president of Energy and National Security Programs for Applied Science Laboratory Inc. until his death. He attended Calvary Chapel of Rio Rancho.
Memorial Services will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, June 28, 2008, at French Mortuary Westside Chapel in Albuquerque, with Pastor Paul Pulliam and Elder Richard Gentry officiating. Interment is at Santa Fe National Cemetery at 11:30 a.m. Friday, June 27, 2008. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the New Mexico Boys and Girls Ranches, 6209 Hendrix Road, NE, 2F1, Albuquerque, NM 87110 (800) 660-0289, firstname.lastname@example.org. Arrangements are under the care of French Mortuary – www.frenchmortuary.com.