Benjamin Painter ’50, age 85, of Scottsdale, Ariz., passed away on April 29, 2014.
He was born on Oct. 12, 1928 in San Jose, Calif. Ben was preceded in death by his parents, Benjamin H. and Carol E. Painter, and his daughter, Katherine E. Kloss. He is survived by his beloved wife, Ileta, sons Steven S. and Kenneth B. Painter MBA ’91, son-in-law David Kloss, daughter-in-laws Lisa and Laura Painter, ten grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.
Ben had a lifelong passion for flying. At the time he was the youngest licensed pilot in California at age 15. Graduating from the University of Santa Clara in 1950 with a B.S. in civil engineering he was commissioned in the U.S. Air Force. While earning his wings in Lubbock, Texas he met his future wife Ileta, who was attending Texas Tech University. Ben was assigned to the 31st Fighter Wing, 508th Fighter Squadron of the Strategic Air Command flying F-84G "Thunderjets" located in Albany, Georgia. Leaving the Air Force in 1955 they re-settled in San Jose.
Ben went to work for San Jose Steel Company where he rose to manage the reinforcing steel "rebar" division. In 1973 he followed in the steps of his father as a custom home builder in Los Gatos, Calif. In 1993 they moved from Monte Sereno to Incline Village, Nev. Ben and Ileta moved to Scottsdale, Ariz. in 2004. Ben was most proud of the legacy he leaves behind represented by his large and growing family