John Benson Head
November 27, 1936 - June 14, 2020
Our dad, John Benson Head, died peacefully, ridiculously early Sunday morning, June 14, 2020. He was always an early riser so it just makes sense. He was born in Seattle, Washington on November 27, 1936, and was adopted by Helga Benson Head and John A. Head when he was a newborn. He was raised in a small town on the Puget Sound called Cathlamet, Washington and lived there until he graduated high school.
His love of fishing and the water was passed down from his father and grandparents. He loved to fish, camp and water ski. He tried to pass the skills on to us with various degrees of success!
As a teenager, after his father passed away, he became a bit of a hellion. Despite this, our
grandmother was devoted to him.
Dad married young, and had three girls with our mom when they were just babies themselves. In some respects, we all grew up together, which always has its pluses and minuses! On the pro side my dad was incredibly energetic, liked to work with his hands and had an amazing work ethic for most of his life. He also had a silly sense of humor, a dry wit and a love for incredibly corny sayings. When we went to Disneyland, I truly believe he had more fun than we did.
As to the downside, since he had family responsibilities so early it took him forever to truly find himself. This made him impatient and he seemed to be always searching for whatever was next. It wasn’t until he was well into his fifties that he found his true calling. He combined his entrepreneurship and his singular “personality” and opened two bars in the Salem area, the Bottle Factory and the Squeeze Inn.
Like most families, we had our share of heartache. Our middle sister, Roberta (Birdie) Joanne Head, passed when she was only 25. After that happened, his life was never the same and much of his “zest” left for good. Eventually, he found his balance again, but it took quite a few years. One of the things that helped was finding his brother Duane Budnick. While they only had a short time together before Duane died, it made a huge difference to him.
He is survived by his younger sister, Marilyn Gatens and her daughters, his sister-in-law, Eileen Budnick, his grandchildren Ashley (Steve) and Joey (Apryl) and four great grandchildren. In addition, his lifelong friends Gail and Jean Hayes and Gloria Head (his ex-wife, our mom) enjoyed a true friendship in his later years. Last, but not least there is my dad’s beloved youngest daughter, Laura Lee Bogue and her husband Joseph Bogue. My dad loved her fiercely! Together, they were always there for my dad whenever he needed them. That just leaves me, his oldest, Anita Head Pienkowski and my husband, Ed. I inherited his stubbornness, the goofy sense of humor and the work ethic. However, dad and I never met a politician we could agree on, Ever!
We love you dad and will miss you every day.
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