Benny DeGaetano died peacefully on November 1, having been preceded in death by his loving wife, Mary, just two years ago.

Benny is survived by his eldest son, John DeGaetano, wife Virginia; granddaughter Joyce; and great-granddaughter Ava (all of Salem); and his younger son, Jim DeGaetano, wife Patty; and grandchildren Tara and Jake (all of San Diego, California).

Benny's last couple of months were heart-wrenching, as he lost his home of 50-plus years and ranch in the Cloverdale-area fire on August 11. He survived the fire only because of the bravery and quick response of nearby neighbor Andre Cormalis.

Benny grew up in Brooklyn, New York and married his high school sweetheart Mary in 1951. They left immediately to travel across the country, headed for Edwards Air Force Base in the Mojave Desert. He was career military, and served as an aviation technician for airplanes and helicopters, traveling throughout the United States and Japan.

Following retirement from the Air Force, he pursued his lifelong dream of establishing the MB Cattle Ranch in the Sisters area. In his retirement years, he enjoyed hunting, fishing, and woodworking as well as being a talented welder and machinist.