Benito F. Villegas
Benito F. Villegas
  • December 24, 1925 - March 21, 2017
  • Calexico, California

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Benito Fernando Villegas (Benny) was born on December 24, 1925 in Los Angeles, California and died peacefully on March 21, 2017 in Calexico, CA at the age of 91.

Benny was preceded in death by his parents, Benito and Alejandra Villegas, by his aunt, Maria Hugues, by his sister, Luz Isabel Trevino and by his nephews, David DePalma and Armando Trevino.

He is survived by his wife of 39 years, Lolita, by his sister, Alejandra DePalma of Irvine, by his nieces: Yolanda, Maria Teresa, Rebecca, Maria Elena, Alejandra, Jacqueline, and Diane; by his nephews: Carlos, Rene, and Mark and by his many great nieces and nephews.

Benito received both public school and Catholic school educations in Boyle Heights. He matriculated to Roosevelt High School in 1939.

Prior to graduation in 1942 and with his parent’s permission, Benny enlisted in the Navy at the age of 17. While serving in the Navy, Benny received his H.S. diploma.

Little did he know that Navy life would be his devotion for the next 30 years.

Benny’s primary education began well before his high school days. His father was a master carpenter and builder. Benny watched his dad build their family home in Boyle Heights from the foundation up. This education served him well in the Navy where he eventually became a Chief Petty Officer and master mechanic with a specialty in servicing fighter jets. Later in his career he supervised the mechanical education of young cadets.

Benito, aka “Benny Bones,” served in three wars: WW2 (USS Wasp 1942-45), Korean War (USS Hornet 1950-53), and Vietnam (USS Kitty Hawk 1962-68) before retiring in 1972. He earned 2 National Defense Service awards, a Vietnam Service Medal and 8 Good Conduct awards over the years.

Upon conclusion of his naval career, Benny made his home in Glendale, CA. Four years later, he was introduced to Dolores Briebiesca (Lolita) and at the age of 52, he married his “Mexicali Rose” on December 19, 1977. A few years later and for the remainder of his life, they moved to Calexico, CA.

Benny will always be remembered as a kind, quiet and devoted son, uncle, and husband, as well as being a devout Catholic. He was generous with his time and with his talents, always helping those who were dear to him. He had a wonderful memory and he loved a good joke. Benny will also be remembered as a decorated veteran, loving husband, and beloved brother and uncle.

A funeral mass will be held at Incarnation Church at 1001 N. Brand Blvd, Glendale, CA at 11:00 am on Friday, April 7, 2017. Burial will follow at Calvary Cemetery in East Los Angeles.