We have lost our loved one, now amidst the angels in heaven praying for all of us, waiting for the rest of the family to be together once again. Ben was born in Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico, to Alfonso Gutierrez and Lorencita (Mondragon) Gutierrez, the oldest of four siblings. He was preceded in death by parents; brothers Benjamin Martinez (Eloisa), Jake Martinez (Helen); and sister Rachel Trujillo (Eddie). He is survived by his wife Lucy G. Gutierrez; stepson Andy Garcia; brother Joe Gutierrez (Faby); sisters Susana G. Valerio, Eleanor Jaramillo; and many loving nieces and nephews.
Ben died peacefully at home surrounded by family after a lengthy battle with cancer from being exposed to Agent Orange during the time he served in Vietnam. Ben attended Catholic school and after high school he joined the Air Force. During the career qualification testing at basic training he demonstrated an aptitude in mechanical engineering. He was assigned to Jet Propulsion Science Technical School at Rantoul, Illinois. Upon graduating he was assigned to a bomber wing in France, working on the first supersonic aircraft (fighter bomber), eventually returning to the United States. After twenty years plus in the Air Force he retired and went to work for the federal government as a furnace operator leader at Tooele Army Depot South Area, Chemical Agent Munitions Disposal System Plant (CAMDS). After twelve years he resigned making time to do some traveling. He and his wife traveled throughout the western states, occasionally finding a fishing hole. After two years he was approached to join a team, as a team leader, responsible for verifying the destruction of chemical weapons. Two years later he left to start his cancer treatments at Huntsman Cancer Institute spending 43 days of intense radiation. His wife was very supportive during this difficult time.
Ben was an avid outdoor enthusiast, he looked forward to the deer and elk hunt every year, but his real love was fishing. He fished in eleven different countries. In the winter you would find him ice fishing Strawberry Reservoir. People would ask, isn’t it too cold? He would respond, “There’s no bad weather just bad clothing.” He tied all his own fishing flies. Ben was one who would help anyone needing help. He made a point to keep in touch with his childhood friends. He was a life member of the Veteran of Foreign Wars (VFW) and the Disabled American Veterans (DAV), serving as Chaplain for many years, officiating hundreds of veteran’s funerals. He was a faithful member of St. Marguerite Catholic Church of Tooele.
Service was held Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021, at St. Marguerite. Interment was at the Tooele City Cemetery with full military honors. In lieu of flowers please feel free to donate to the Huntsman Cancer Institute. Ben, may you Rest in Peace… Godspeed.