Curt Bench Obituary (1952 – 2021) – Salt Lake City, UT
Curtis Allred Bank
Salt Lake City, UT Our husband, father, grandfather, and brother died unexpectedly on August 17, 2021. Curtis Allred Bench was born on November 17, 1952 to Gordon and Verdon Bench in Los Angeles, California. Reading the dictionary was one of his favorite pastimes growing up. When friends went to the beach to surf, he would take a book instead. He was definitely born with a “why” chromosome that lasted his entire life. Curt served on the Alabama-Florida Mission. It was here that he began his LDS book collection. Curt worked for and later ran businesses for Deseret Book, opening the rare books division there in 1984. In 1987 Curt opened his own store, Benchmark Books, which continues to this day and has become a meeting place for Mormons of all stripes. Curt envisioned a religion that spanned all faiths, a true proponent of the “big tent”.
Curt’s knowledge and accomplishments are too numerous to list, but he loved words, books, limericks, humor and laughter, turquoise and above all people. He loved unconditionally and built bridges and shook hands with anyone who resisted, with a listening ear and without judgment. We will miss him every time we look at a sunset and his lyrics telling us to look at the sky.
Curt graduated from BYU where he met and fell in love with Patricia Gaffney Bench. They married and completed their eternal family with four children: son, Christopher Bench (Wendi), daughters, Brittany Poulton (George), Emily McLean (David), son, Landon Bench (Lex) and later came nine grandchildren with whom he was amazing was involved and dedicated to: Rylie, Qhloi, Senator, Annapurna, Jasper, Eve, Poppy, Noah and Bliss. “Papa” will always be remembered for pushing them on the swing in the back yard, reading to them and giving them an endless supply of books. They will miss coming through the door and letting their dad sneak up on them and giving them a big surprise. He encouraged his children to get an education and work hard. He often joked that all of his children worked for him, or at least were hired by him to help them with their studies.
Also survived by his brother Dennis G. Bench (Aileen) and his mother-in-law Betty Glad.
Curt was a member of the Utah Westerners, the Mormon History Association, the Sunstone Education Foundation, the John Whitmer Historical Association, the Utah Historical Society (Honorary Member), and his beloved Friday lunch group, The Latitudinarians.
In death he was preceded by his parents, brothers Ken and Al Bench and father-in-law Bruce D. Glad.
We will honor Curt’s Life in Conversation on Tuesday, August 24th at the East Millcreek Stake Center at 3103 E. Craig Drive from 6pm to 8pm and on Wednesday, August 25th from 10am to 11:45 am address . The funeral will take place at 12 noon. A broadcast of the funeral can be viewed at http://mywebcast.churchofjesuschrist.org/saltlakeeastmillcreekstake. Curt was a germaphobe so don’t forget to wear your mask.
Burial in the Elysian Burial Gardens, Salt Lake City, Utah.
Published by Deseret News from August 20 to August 22, 2021.