“The sunset was spectacular. The sky streaked itself with rose and the region of the sun became an indescribable glory” wrote Louis L’Amour, favorite author of Glenn Raymond Benton, age 92, who died March 2, 2017 in Fallbrook.
Leaving Sterling, Okla., where he was born September 22, 1925, with his family to follow farm work in Central California, Glenn was a child of the Great Depression and no stranger to the harsh realities of “The Grapes of Wrath”. Steady work came when Kaiser Steel located in Fontana. He learned the steamfitter trade and joined Local Union 364 in Colton at 17 to help build the steel mill.
A year later, he was called to duty with the U.S. Army in France, where he fought in the Battle of the Bulge. After the war, he married Dixie O. Smyth and lived in Redlands, later building a ranch house in rural Calimesa, where he raised horses, calves, and parakeets. He often showed off his “horse laugh,” a high-pitched shrill whistle mimicking a horse’s whinny, which brought in even the neighbors’ horses.
Later, he married Charlotte Buslaff of Redlands and moved to Fallbrook. Working side-by-side, they planted groves and prospered. Trees like music, they say, and that he sang and hummed while climbing and planting those steep hillsides surely made for happier trees and richer avocados.
After Charlotte died, he married Sybil Swedeen of Redlands. He remained at home in Fallbrook after her death. Retirement consisted of growing spectacular roses and reading every Louis L’Amour book ever written. “Reilly’s Luck” went with him everywhere, for it best told who he was: a tough, self-reliant man of integrity, honesty, hard work, and fairness.
He is survived by daughters Penny Fedorchak (Joe) of Fallbrook and Pamela Smyth of Redlands; sister Barbara Patke of Hemet; two grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; four nieces; and former son-in-law, Roy Swedeen of Redlands.
Services will be March 22 at 10:30 a.m. at Berry-Bell & Hall Mortuary, 333 Vine Street, Fallbrook, with viewing March 21 from 4 to 8 p.m. Burial will follow the service at 2 p.m. at Riverside National Cemetery.