BENBROOK, Richard Michael Longtime resident and artist Richard Benbrook passed away at home on March 24, 2017, of lung cancer. He was 69. The youngest of five children born to Jack and Madelyn Benbrook, Richard was an Arkansas native who moved to Petaluma while in the second grade. The family frequently moved, so by the time he reached high school, he enjoyed a wide range of friends. Gregarious and friendly, he liked the social aspect of school and loved making people laugh. He met his future wife, Dinah Gibbens, while on a mixed-up double date, where he stole her heart. The couple married in1970 and have two sons Ross and Grant. Artistically gifted, Richard began married life as a sign painter in Healdsburg before moving to Arkansas where he became a staff artist for Arkansas Public Television. Missing California, he and Dinah returned to the Bay Area where he worked for a San Francisco design firm before branching out on his own. He also published a poetry and literary magazine for several years, The Tomcat, and was an award winning political cartoonist for the Petaluma Argus Courier. Eventually he was able to pursue a full time career in fine art. His paintings and sculptures have been sold in galleries throughout the Bay Area to patrons all over the world. Richard's first priority was his family. He was extremely proud of his sons and happy that he could work from his home studio in order to spend more time with them and have the opportunity to coach and attend their sporting events as their number one fan. In addition to his wife and sons, Richard is survived by daughter-in-law, Michelle, grandsons Paolo and Lucas, sister June and brother Edward as well as numerous other family members. A Celebration of Life will be held on April 22, from 2-5 at the Petaluma Women's Club on B Street. Donations may be made to Hospice of Petaluma.
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