Obituary of Robert Benedetto
In Loving Memory of Robert (Bagsey) Benedetto
Bob, known to his family and friends as Bagsey, was a devoted husband, and a loving father and grandfather. He was born in Inglewood to proud parents Charles and Nora. Bagsey and his family moved to Santa Barbara when he was five years old and settled into a small downtown house. From an early age, he was mechanically inclined, always eager to tinker and fix things.
Upon reaching his high school senior year, Bob was drafted into the army. His dedication to service led him to the Aleutian Islands, an experience that would make him reluctant to visit Alaska later in life. Despite the interruption to his education, Bob’s commitment never waned, and in 2013, he was proudly awarded an honorary high school diploma. His service didn’t end with the army; Bob participated in the Honor Flight program, which honors veterans by providing them with a memorable trip to Washington D.C.
Bob was introduced to Kathy by Kathy’s head nurse, and although Kathy was initially reluctant, fate had other plans. Bob’s red Thunderbird and undeniable charm won her heart. The two were married in 1957 and the rest was history.
In 1960 the couple decided to build their dream home, selling the beautiful red Thunderbird for a plot of land nestled within a lemon orchard. Bob was a hands-on builder, involving himself in every aspect of construction. Their home became a testament to their shared vision and hard work, a place where they would raise their sons, Rob, Kirk, and Terry. Eventually their dream home would welcome all their grandchildren and become a staple of the Benedetto family.
Bob originally pursued a career in painting, but his true passion lay with automobiles. In the 1970s, he founded Performance Rebuilders, a business that thrived for years in downtown Santa Barbara. Bob’s mechanical talents extended far and wide, as he crafted a ‘32 Ford Phaeton, built and raced his favorite “Dego Red” boat, assembled and flew remote control airplanes, and even constructed and piloted his own ultralight aircraft. His enthusiasm for mechanics didn’t stop there, as he once built a go-cart that provided a wild ride for his three sons’ babysitter.
Bob’s selflessness and devotion to his family was evident in his every gesture, both big and small. Bob’s thoughtfulness extended to Kathy’s workplace, where he would surprise her with mochas during her late night shifts in the Emergency Room. Speaking of their enduring marriage, Kathy often said that sharing common goals was key to its success. Their journey was marked by love, shared dreams, and unwavering support for each other.
Bob’s legacy lives on in the memories of those whose lives he touched. He will be remembered for his dedication to his family, his passion for mechanics, and his unwavering love for Kathy. Bob is survived by his wife of 66 years, Kathy, sons: Rob (wife Carrie), Kirk and Terry (wife Lynda). His grandchildren Nick (wife Jess), Samantha, Jamie (husband Josh), Chad, and Rickie Lee. May he rest in eternal peace. Gravesite service at Calvary Cemetery on Monday September 11, at 11:30AM.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Robert Benedetto, please visit Tribute Store