Valley Hills Funeral Home
On Saturday, April 24, 2021, with the heart and determination of a warrior, Benny lost his battle to cancer. In the short time since his diagnosis, he endured numerous exams and procedures, but never lost the hope of winning the fight. The competitive spirit he had always shown in football, wrestling, and karate didn’t allow his illness to win easily. He went down fighting to his last breath.
Benny was born in Toppenish, Washington, on March 21, 1952, to Cresencio and Margarita Facio, the 15th of 16 children. He graduated from Wapato High School with the class of 1971 and went on to attend WSU on a wrestling scholarship. He eventually transferred to YVC and then on to CWU where he graduated with a bachelor degree in sociology and a bachelor degree in anthropology.
Ben’s zest for life took him to archeological sites in the forests and hills of our state; he traveled to conferences and workshops in different states as far as Georgia; his music made its way to venues away from home; and his love of adventure called him and his family to the beaches, to Mexico and Canada, and everywhere in between.
In 1974 Benny and Sylvia Cruz committed their love and lives to one another. They shared their love with family and friends for 46 years. Life took on a deeper meaning to him when his children began to arrive. Always the teacher, the protector, he taught his children the values of family, honesty, integrity, commitment, and tolerance. When the grandchildren came along, he proudly took on the role of “Papa” with a love so deep and so sincere. Again, he took the role of a father teaching his little ones the importance of being good people, working hard, loving without condition, and enjoying the life given them.
Benny is survived by his loving wife, Sylvia, his children Tony, Allison (Jesse), and Alex (Antoinette). He also leaves behind his grandchildren Joaquin, Phoenix, Nicolas, Miliano, Solice, Azariah, Amarie, Jaden, and Blake; as well as his siblings Jim and John of Sacramento, CA, Larry of Wapato, Joe of Toppenish, Patty and Mary of Yakima, and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
Graveside burial for Benny will be on Friday, May 14, 2021, at Wapato Reservation Community Memorial Park at 11:00 a.m., and a Celebration of Life to follow at The Loza Barn, 5071 Evans Road, Wapato. Please join us in fellowship and memory of our beloved Benny.