FRANKLIN – Francis Richard “Dick” Benton passed away Feb. 17 at his vacation home in Inverness, Fla.

He was born in Springfield, Vt., Dec. 1, 1942. He worked at the Fellows Gear Shaper there, moved on to Cone-Blanchard in Windsor and finally retired from Bryant Grinder, back in Springfield, in 2005.

After that, Dick fulfilled his longtime dream of moving to a home in Franklin, Vt., overlooking Lake Carmi. He loved the lake. He was an active and passionate member of the Carmi watershed group and, in his later years, an outspoken advocate for a cleaner Lake Carmi.

Visitors could often find him whistling across his lawn to sit on a bench and look out over the water.

He was a proud family man who took as much thrill from his children and grandchildren’s accomplishments as they did.

His father, Francis W. Benton, mother, Leona M. (Plamondon) Benton and brother, Thomas Benton, predeceased him.

His survivors include Cheryl, his wife of 58 years; one brother, Stephen, of Charlestown, N.H.; three children, James Benton and his wife, Terri, of Ocala, Fla., John Benton and his wife, Shannon, of Springfield, Vt. and Marie Wright and her husband, Marc, also of Springfield; as well as five grandchildren: Thomas Benton, of St. Albans, Vt., Samuel Benton and his partner, Mareesa Miles, also of St. Albans; Matthew Wright, of Portland, Maine; Christopher Wright and partner Jasmine Goings of Shelburne, Vt.; and Owen Miller, of Springfield, Vt.

Dick didn’t want calling hours or services — just a private celebration of life for those who knew him. That will be held at the lake he loved this summer.

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