Obituary: Hector Benjamin (Benny) Gonzalez
Benny Gonzalez passed away peacefully at home on April 21, 2020 after a brief illness. Ben was born to Benjamin and Lina Gonzalez on October 29, 1943 in Los Angeles California. Ben spent most of his childhood and early adulthood in The City of Commerce in East Los Angeles California. Ben attended Bell Gardens High School where he excelled in basketball, football and baseball. After high school Ben enlisted into the Marine Corp and proudly served from 1963 to 1965.
After a few years of enjoying and making the most of the California lifestyle, Ben married his true love, Lydia (Lil) Lopez on November 13, 1971. Lil was briefly married before she married Ben. Lil and had two sons, Armando and Michael from her previous marriage. Ben moved Lil, Armando and Michael to Manhattan Beach California where they joyously lived from 1971 to 1974. On July 1, 1972, Anthony Gonzalez was born to Ben and Lil. During those days in Manhattan Beach, Ben discovered his passion for Harley Davidson Motorcycles. Ben purchased a 1968 Harley Davidson Shovelhead motorcycle from a police auction. He tore it down piece by piece and bolt by bolt and rebuilt it into a beautiful chopper that he cherished for many years. He also rebuilt and customized a beautiful green Chevy van that he would take his family on memorable trips to Pismo Beach, San Francisco, The Colorado River and Colorado. In October 1974, Ben moved his family to Steamboat Springs, Colorado with an opportunity to own and operate Steamboats first T-shirt store with his business partner Michael Cooper. Their business grew into one of the most successful T-shirt shops in Colorado. Ben and Michael started with one store in Steamboat and their business grew to four retail stores and one wholesale warehouse throughout Colorado.
During Ben’s years in Steamboat, Ben was an active skier, racquetball player, tennis player, fisherman, water skier and softball player. Ben also enjoyed cooking, doing projects around the house, listening to music and helping Lil with her gardening. In the off season, Ben and Lil would always head to Bens favorite destination; the beach. Those travels to the beach included Mexico, Jamaica, Rarotonga and most of the Hawaiian Islands. Most of those trips were taken with either family and or friends.
Ben was very proud and supportive of his sons as well as his grandchildren. He was always available for his family and friends for advise, conversation, or anyway to help out in any capacity. Ben leaves behind his wife Lil and his three children, son Armando and his wife Carla; son Michael and his wife Mary Beth; and son Tony and his wife Amy. Also missing Pa are his 5 grandkids who he adored, Wyatt and Rudy Arce, Isabella Arce and Cruz and Diego Gonzalez. A service and celebration of life will be named at a later date when it is safe to do so.
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