Michael Anthony BentonJune 19, 1958 ~ December 12, 2017 (age 59)
Michael A. Benton
June 19, 1958 – Dec. 12, 2017
Michael Benton died Dec. 12, 2017, at his home surrounded by family and friends. Mike was steadfast in his faith, always leading with love even in the midst of medical issues. We celebrate that Mike is at peace now and resting with his God.
Mike learned of love and his Catholic faith from his parents Raymond and Rose (Mastrandrea) Benton in Portland, Oregon. His first and most treasured community was his family including his “fine” sisters Cathy, Regina and Theresa. They worshipped at All Saints Parish, and he also attended the church’s elementary school. This was where he first experienced a faith community that would influence how he lived and worked.
When Mike was 12 years old he saved enough money from his paper route to buy his first guitar. Little did he know that music ministry was going to become his life’s work. He joined the All Saints music group, helped with retreats and kept building a community of friends through these experiences.
After graduating from Benson Polytechnical High School in 1976, he attended Mt. Hood Community College and Portland State University. He studied music and theatre to become a music teacher but an opportunity to work as a youth and college campus minister at St. Anthony’s Parish in Forest Grove, Oregon, changed that career path.
It was in Forest Grove where he formed a friendship with one of the Pacific University students, Beth Rasgorshek. Their relationship grew into love and they were married July 27, 1985, in Forest Grove.
Mike worked as a youth minister in several different Portland-area parishes and eventually built a freelance business as a retreat leader and musician. He valued all the friendships and relationships built through these numerous events, always reminding us “to meet people where they are on their life’s journey, and to keep showing up and supporting those we hold dear.”
In 1999 he graciously left his hometown of Portland so he and Beth could live in Nampa. He continued working in various capacities as a lay minister in Southwestern Idaho, freelancing as a musician and retreat leader, and was a valuable support person on their farm. Then at his wife’s urging, he became a trained mediator, and spent time working at the family court in Canyon County and volunteered with the small claims court in Ada County.
Mike met many compassionate and concerned doctors, nurses and aides while on his numerous medical adventures. He was grateful for all them but especially to Dr. Michael Adcox and our dear friend and nurse Lori Steel.
He is survived by his wife Beth Rasgorshek; sisters, Cathy Wade and her husband Mark of Milwaukie, Oregon; Regina Benton of Portland, Oregon; Theresa Benton of Portland, Oregon; his mother-in-law, Jessie Rasgorshek of Nampa; and in-laws, Paul and Marilyn Rasgorshek of Nampa, Lora and Ron Kamp of Daniel, Wyoming, Jane and Ken Banner of Palo Cedro, California, and Mark Rasgorshek of Twin Falls; and these awesome nieces and nephews, Jacob Benton, Andrew Wade, Amanda and Brandon Showers, Sam Wade, Jay Rasgorshek, Kyle Rasgorshek, Tyler and Heather Kamp, Kelsey and Garrett Cloney, Mallory Banner, Trent Banner, Dalton Rasgorshek, Karli Rasgorshek, Drake Rasgorshek and Brady Rasgorshek; and great niece Aubrey Kamp. He was preceded in death by his parents, and father-in-law Joseph Rasgorshek.
One ministry that Mike maintained for 25 years was helping at the orientation camp for the Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest in Portland. This week-long event fed his soul as he shared his faith and music with young adults who volunteer a year of their life to minister throughout the Pacific Northwest. In that spirit, if you wish to make a memorial contribution in Mike’s name, please make it to the NW Jesuit Volunteer Corps, PO Box 22125, Portland, OR 97269 or www.jvcnorthwest.org.
A celebration of his life service will be held in Portland on Sunday, January 28, 2017 at the Carvlin Hall, the parish center at St. Philip Neri Church, 2408 SE 16th Ave., Portland, Oregon 92214. Services start at 2:00 P.M. followed by food and music (bring your instruments)