It is with heavy heart I announce that our beloved friend and fellow petroliana collector Dick Bennett (a.k.a. The Professor) passed away last night. He will be greatly missed by me and many others in our hobby. Dick provided a wealth of information for us and was an asset to the Old Gas community.
While your thoughts and prayers are much appreciated, his wife, Judy, requests that any condolences or memories of Dick be posted here instead of contacting her directly at this difficult time.
condolences too Judy & the family...
Deepest sympathy to his family. The site will never be quite the same.
Sad to hear. Just chatted with him yesterday and everyday. He was a great friend and will be greatly missed. DB has taught me a lot. Oldgas will not be the same without him.
Deepest sympathy to his family as well. Wish I had the chance to meet him.
Damn....what a shock. DB and I had a lengthy back and forth message session Wednesday night, I can't believe it. My deepest sympathy to his family. He will DEFINITELY be missed here, his knowledge was endless, and if you were a willing listener, he was glad to share with it with you. I too wish I had a chance to meet Dick.....guess I'll have to wait until I'm on the other side.
DB started out rough on me like he did all the other newbies, but I figured out over time that, IMO, he was weeding out the true collectors from the rest, and I grew to enjoy our online friendship.
I can honestly say Db was a friend of mine from the first day we met at Iowa gas years ago. I will miss him for sure
Wow when I saw the title I was hoping it was some sort of prank. A real bummer for the hobby. I am glad to have met Dick in person at Iowa a few years ago. Always enjoyed his insight and opinions here, and in PMs. A HUGE loss for the hobby and oldgas.
My prayers go to his his wife Judy. Never met him, and from what I knew of him here did not make me a fan to be honest. But have no doubt the following quote sounds just like something that would apply to him:
"I am ready to meet my maker, but whether my maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter."
Winston Churchill (1874-1965) British politician.
I can't believe it. Dick and I hit it off from the start here on Oldgas for some reason as I know a lot of folks had a hard time figuring him out. His gruff front was not the helping and truly dedicated collector and friend he was to many. I am thankful we were able to meet last year at Iowa and become friends. One truly never knows when our number is up and the good Lord calls us home. God bless Judy and the family in the weeks and months ahead. I never met Judy but the fact that Dick was originally from my neck of the woods and her maiden name being Bass was a big part of our early conversations that led to a great friendship. Rest in Peace Dick.
Wow is right! DB will for sure be missed. So sorry to hear this.
Spoke with him by email lots and he was always willing to help. I too wish I had the chance to meet him in person. Oldgas will not be the same,rest in peace Dick.
My prayers go out to Judy and the family. Rob let us know if we as a group need to do something.
my feeling sad thoughts go out to Dick & family as he help me a lot when starting out on my Boyle Dayton collection finding hard parts for me also helped with my spel corrections when needed Laroy
Extremely sad to hear this,like most of us here.
His knowledge was only surpassed by his personality in my book.
His dry sense of humor and bluntness were just one of the many reasons I tuned here.
He constantly gave me gruff for my Chicago pizza photo,saying how disgusting it looked..LOL.
We occasionally talked back & forth,and now wish I made more of an effort to tell him how much I really appreciated who he was.
My deepest condolences to his wife.
Rest In Peace Mr.Bennett.
This is one of my favorite photos of you..
Wow, just talked to him Monday. Sympathies to his family.
Just got in from dinner and heard from Shawn. Words can't express howI feel right now. Just talked with db last night also.
Shocked to hear this...I talked with him just the other day. I have known Dick for over 30 years and he always had the time to answer any questions I had, no matter how stupid they were, about pumps. Rest in peace "Professor"
Wow, our deepest sympathy to his family and his close friends within the hobby and outside of it. What a great loss on so many fronts.
Lets pray this time goes as easily as it can for everyone.
Rest in eternal peace Mr. Bennett
So sorry to hear this. Prayers for his Wife
Dick, you bugger, that is a way too early exit from this mortal coil.
I was also the beneficiary of his expertise, his caustic humor and his very generous help and will greatly miss his presence on OG.
Rob, Bev and I would like to express our heart felt condolences to Judy.
I am stunned to hear this. This sight won't be the same. Shared many laughs with him over the years in Iowa. I'll treasure the old Ford grease lid he gave me that he passed out in Iowa one year. My thoughts and prayers to his family and close friends. R.I.P. DB
WOW! He was such an asset to the hobby. Thoughts and prayers to his family.
DB sent me this last week
The can master himself, he liked to tell stories and jokes. It was nice getting emails throughout the day at work. Always looked forward to checking my email.
Here is one of the last he sent me
"A prestigious cardiologist died, and was given an elaborate
funeral by the hospital he worked for most of his career.
A huge heart... covered in flowers stood behind the casket during the
service as all the doctors from the hospital sat in awe.. Following
the eulogy, the heart opened, and the casket rolled inside. The heart
then closed, sealing the doctor in the beautiful heart forever.
At that point, one of the mourners just burst into laughter. When all
eyes stared at him, he said,
'I'm so sorry... I was just thinking of my own funeral......I'm a
The Priest fainted!"
DB, I miss ya buddy and hopefully we can all get you an oil can flower arrangement.
See you on the other side
Deepest sympathy to Dicks friends and family. I too have known and laughed with Dick for many years. The old gas family will always miss him because there will only be one Dick Bennett. So sad and unexpected.
Very sorry to hear this. Dick was a great person and always went out of his way to help, but also teach in the process. My condolences to the family
I was shocked to hear of the passing of Dick Bennett. I remember the first time I met him at Iowa Gas, I was able to personally thank him for all of his help and vast knowledge of gas pumps. He will be truly missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this most difficult time.
I hope this is a joke...
If it is not, I am really going to miss the mean 'ol bast...!
db and I would converse often, a running joke with us was how many on Oldgas... Consider(ed) us to be "mean and cranky 'Ol Men"....
db always seemed to have the time to answer a question... He, at times, was "rough as bark" with his answers on Oldgas...
But, once one got beyond his "sarcasm" and proved to him that you could take it; and hit back with some of your own... He was a great guy to converse with...
And his knowledge was top-notch!
Very shocked and sorry to hear this news, my sympathies to Dick's family and extended family. His memory will live on here on Oldgas.
RIP Dick. Just reading these heartfelt posts brought tears to my eyes. Condolences to his family.
Wow! What a shocker to log on tonight and read this news. As one of the newbies Dick always had time for me and my silly questions. One time I told him my dad's name was Dick also.....you know where that lead to.
I am going to miss his little DB'isms each day. What a huge loss.
Great guy and even better friend.
God Bless Dick and Prayers to Dick's family.
I'm shocked to hear this.
I hate to have just learned this, though he was a pill sometimes, he will be GREATLY missed here.
He and I worked together to come up with the Veeder Root decals, and the sarcastic wit..!!!!
Dang I hate to hear this.
He is an ICON lost, the old guard is dying off.
I hope you are having a beer you old bass turd Dick 'Ol buddy !!!!
Rest in peace Mr. Bennett
Prayers to his family and may you find peace as well during these
The world lost a great guy and OUR Hobby Lost a LEGEND!
Rest In Peace DB! May your tombstone be shaped like a Gas Pump!!
Prayers for the Family! ~God Bless~
wow when i joined a few years ago and didn't know much he helped me a lot
we chatted here all the time, gonna miss his funny comments on here.
I can't believe it either, just had the emails here on a couple subjects. I know many people had strong feelings one way or another, but he was always extremely helpful to myself and friends of mine. As said a wealth of info that most of us will never know or what to know.
Man I just can't believe it !!
I am so sorry and hope that his family will take hart in the fact that so many of us appreciated him and his help.
Sad news for sure, R.I.P, prayers to family .
What a Shock! I met Dick a couple of years ago at IG.My kind of guy! Honest and to the point and a wealth of knowledge.He will be sorely missed on this site.
Sad news; his knowledge and passion for the hobby will be missed! Prayers to his family and friends. Didn't get a chance to meet DB in person, but shared many a PM.
To a freind and mentor. MR. DICK BENNETT you will be missed. Thank you for the vast amount of knowledge you have shared with me thru out the years. My Condolences to Judy and freinds.
Azjockey Or how he would say Azjerkey
this place wont be the same without him. many will agree. Rest in peace Db.
It just never seems real, or even possible, when this sort of thing happens. Dick was such a lively character....a significant influence to the Old Gas family.
RIP Dick....the site won't be the same without you
wow... literally thought it was a joke until about the third post. sad to hear the news. I literally exchanged 10 PMs with him just yesterday. Sorry I never got to meet him in person... always enjoyed the chats we were able to have thru this site. He answered a lot of my first questions when I started getting into pumps. very sorry to hear the news
so sorry to hear this, I just seen him on here. I guess you never know
I never met him, but he sure was full of knowledge
I met DB a few times at Iowa. He sometimes came across as a grumpy old fart but he was always helpful to me. I bought a pump part from him once and I helped hook him up with a visi gauge my brother had for sale. The hobby just lost a good guy and a ton of knowledge. Thoughts to his family
Wow! Haven't been on Oldgas in a couple of years, but saw this on Facebook tonight and had to log in here to see if it was really true. I can't even express how sad it makes me to hear this. Dick was a great guy and I always enjoyed seeing him at Iowa Gas and having him pick on me. He just sent me an e-mail a few days ago that I didn't even respond to yet...this is just such a shock. I'll never be able to make another lemon meringue pie without thinking about you, DB!
I am deeply saddened and completely shocked to hear this news. Some people may have had trouble getting along with him, but those people probably just never understood him. Dick was a truly nice guy behind his gruff facade. He just emailed me a couple days ago and I hadn't even had a chance to respond yet - I'm still in disbelief. I'll miss you, DB!
I just had a long talk the other night about our health...He said he was trying to quit smoking...We talked about his Avatar pic his pug named Ben Hur ..He really missed him he was 17years old and died 3 years ago. This is the last thing he said to me..."Takes 40yrs to reach top of mountain & slip over, but As you near the bottom of mountain you pickup speed, then your Dead before ya reach the parking lot!" I never met ya DB but you will be missed RIP my friend, Brian
Wow, this is a shock. I never met him but he did invite me to stop by his place last December while I was on my annual California trip. I was going to take him up on that offer this year. What a loss to this site. Nobody can take his place.
I agree it is a shock. Our prayers will go out to his family. Richard
Condolences to DB's family and friends. Lots of folks going to be missing you DB! Rest in peace....:(
Sorry to hear this , almost unbelievable. My wife just read the D.B isims last night and we really got a laugh .
Then this tonight. Condolences to his family. I have to say that when I joined this sight and started restoring my meager little Tokheim 300 , DB was the first one to step up and answer my newbie questions. Loved his humor , sometimes disliked his responses to others , but he was a teacher.Old school.Funny thing was one day I found myself blocked by Dick and could not figure out why? So I said what the hey I will block him and I did. Pretty soon one day a few weeks later I found that he had unblocked me? Never found out why and did not care. I Always looked forward to reading his post's , good or bad (harsh) . Going to miss his sarcastic brilliance and ALL the information that he shared with the Group.
There are few people in life whom leave a lasting impression on you. I had never met DB in person but seems as though I had.Will be missed!
I never got to meet Dick in person but we corresponded several times about pumps and I always found him to be very helpful. I've been in this hobby since 1995 and still don't know 10% of what he did. Truly a unique individual and this site will never be the same without his input and wit.
My condolences to his family.
I will miss his sacastic humor, he was truly the "professor"
Sad.What a loss to our hobby on knowledge. Very great man inside.R.I.P. DB. You will be greatly missed by many.
Rest in peace, I know we never saw eye to eye unfortunately and argued but my prayers are with your family. Today the hobby has lost a pioneer. Rest in peace DB
I never had the chance to meet DB, but I know the hobby has lost a treasure of knowledge. God bless his family.
Doesn't seem real. I met the professor through a buddy that got me into collecting this stuff. When Dick found out that I collected Union Oil of Cal. he couldn't have been more helpful. Think I'll go out to the shop & have a cold one for him;......me too.:(
Oh DB what are we gonna do without you? You scolded me a few times but it didn't bother me because you taught me so much. I'll never forget when you took time out at Iowa Gas to give me literature on a Boyle-Dayton "Viso" pump that I bought there. I was really looking forward to seeing you at Iowa next year. That's what stinks about missing a gas show, you're taking chances on never seeing one of your fellow collectors again? Thanks for all of your hilarious comments and for wearing that homemade Bennett belt buckle with the Bennett wings you always had on. I know you're walking through a killer junkyard surrounded by 36B tops, hopefully you finally found that stationlighter you asked me for. God Bless him.
Ohhhh no…. So sorry to here this. Dick Bennett will be missed. I never got to talk to the man, but I sure wished I could have. I can't believe this. So sad...
Very sad to hear. Never met the man. I'm not sure how old he even was. But, he was a constant on this site. Thoughts and prayers go out to his family. R.I.P Dick.
(I'm glad to see even those that he didn't get along with had the decency to pay their respects. I respect that.)
What a shock. First, thoughts and prayers to family and close friends. I have known DB for many years, but only saw him yearly at Iowa. We weren't good friends, mere acquantiances I'd say. I first met Dick when he hauled a showcase pump all the way from California back to Iowa for me - MANY years ago. Boy did he whine
- not sure if he was really upset about the hassle and the weight and the long distance - or that I pulled a great pump out of his back yard :)) Ha ha. He helped me with info many times and connected me with others who could help when he couldn't. As mentioned, he was a wealth of knowledge! Funny that we had a collection of his quotes posted here just hours before his passing. Perhaps Jim can make that thread a permanent fixture here along with these memoirs as a tribute to Dick? Can't imagine how much time he had logged in here at Old Gas? RIP DB - hope you got to take your 36B tops with you...
Godspeed Dick, prayers going out to Judy & family.
Our thoughts and prayers for Judy and all Dick's family and friends.
Just yesterday we exchanged emails about his health and issues he cared about on the forum. He was waiting for his health insurance to kick in on the first of September so he could get some tests run. He was feeling bad. Wish the new month could have come sooner so he could have gotten some help a little earlier.
It's too bad that so many who thought DB was a heartless, mean old guy never got to really know him. It is true, he could dish out the brutal truth to a newbie or a self-centered user. But once you got past that tough exterior, you'd find a guy who would help you when you needed it and knew more than most others could ever learn about petroliana, especially about gas pumps. He often admitted to me in private that he had been too rough on someone, but only regretted the tone of the comment, not the facts or the need to deliver them.
We going to miss the color commentator and gas pump professor here on the forum and at swap meets in the future. DB really cared about the hobby, the historic knowledge and real collectors. He had no patience for those who were in it for the money and would take advantage of others for their own gain.
Rest in peace, Dick Bennett.
WHAT? I just got home! Him and I have been friends for along time. Rode together to Iowa a couple times. Tell me this is a bad azz joke!
Rob, BlackTee, Mick,,, NO NO NO
I'm truly hurt by this.
Give em' hell Dick!
Dick and I tagged teamed a few that ain't on this site anymore. Sent me joke I will post and see if it gets deleted. Funny I think I'm still on double secret probation because of him..
I met dick at Iowa gas he was a nice man. Nothing like he came across on here. What can we do for his family?
I am truly saddened to here this news today. I just spoke with him a few days ago, and he was his usual self. DB was old school and that one of the things I liked about him the most. He wasn’t afraid to tell you how he felt or what was on his mind. This site has lost a very Dear member, and the hobby has lost a wealth of knowledge.
To his wife and family our thoughts and prayers go out to you. DB aka “The Professor” rest in peace my Friend.
Really sucks. Adios, Professor.
A few months ago my pm was flashing and when I clicked on it and saw it was db I was a scared that I was about to get berated for god knows what. It was actually a nice helpful message and we went back and forth for a while about some issues on oldgas that we agreed on. I felt almost proud that I could enjoy that exchange with one of the most knowledgeable and respected members on here.
My thoughts and prayers go out to dick and his family.
I'm still shocked by this. So here is a repeat of what I just posted on facebook.
"OMG! Really??? The Professor? A lot of people thought we didn't like each other but that was just at the beginning. Once we both figured out that we where both just sarcastic a**holes we got along great. But people still thought we hated each other because we would feud on oldgas but we would be messaging each other behind the scenes. It was like a game for us! We had a blast making people wonder who would say what next. Damn this hurts! Love you DB. He was the most knowledgeable and greatest contributor to this hobby that I have known."
Sad news. Prayers to the family. Sold him two roller nozzles and a 36B top and he helped me out on several projects. He will be missed.
I learned of this a few hours ago and am still shocked. Can't believe it.
I never met Dick face to face, but have corresponded with him for years. If I ever had a question, I'd ask Dick and he would usually know the answer. Dick truly loved this hobby, not the money it could bring, but the objects themselves and the history of it all. Gonna miss you, DB.
I'm just shocked. Anything I didn't know about pumps he did...who am I going to ask questions to now Dick??!!??? Rest In Peace my friend...I will miss you.
it makes you think when somebody your age passes,
Dick was 64...
Oh man only 64??..thats how old my dad is..too young.
Just read through all the comments and would like to echo what Bbburke said...
I'm glad to see even those that he didn't get along with had the decency to pay their respects. I respect that.
Also nice to see people who haven't posted here in eons, come and give their respects.
Sad to hear this news, I really appreciated his wisdom and looked forward to reading his post.
How Sad.......we exchanged at least 5 emails last night and he sounded as spunky as ever...RIP DB and you will be greatly missed and NEVER forgotten...........DT
I didn't know DB, but always enjoyed his comments. All I can think as I've read all these comments is what an influential person he was! RIP DB, & condolences to all of his family and close friends.
prayers for the family R.I.P you will be miss
Wow. I don't know what to say. The hobby has lost an icon and probably the most knowledgeable person on gas pumps there was. Dick and I always got along well and he will be greatly missed. Thanks DB for all you ever helped me with.
Thanks Dick for all your wisdom and insight. I will miss reading his comments. Oldgas will definitely never be the same without him. Prayers for Judy and his family.
Thanks Dick for the time we shared,and your dry wit. Dick was not on this site to be liked, he was here to teach,and boy did he! He taught many of us about companies,pumps and how to think for ourselves,if you didn't he would make you wish you had!We all have to die,Dick just beat us to it! Rumor has it the Lord had a question or two about some old pumps and Dick got the call!
Our prayers go out to his wife and family,rest in peace Dick,your journey is just starting.
Prayers for Judy & his family. God broke the mold when he made DB & Oldgas won't be the same without him. Marshall
Wow really sad and shocked to read this tonight,it certainly won't be the same without him!!!
My first contact with Dick was 14 years ago. I always enjoyed his emails, personal messages, and phone conversations. Always top notch work on the cans I sent him to restore. I'll miss the empty water bottles, avocados and oranges he used to pack in the box with them. A founding father in this hobby has passed. RIP brother.
You will be missed. Tim Hansen
Love him or hate him him, there is no doubt Dick was genuine 100% of the time. He forgot more about pumps then most will ever know. He was never afraid to help a newbie or a veteran member. I always though dick would go of heatstroke at Iowa gas; this is a huge shock. Prayers to his Wife!
We shared a passion for old gas pumps, and became friends because of it, he taught me a lot, and I'm gonna miss him. Next time I was there he was going to take me to the Santa Paula airport to look at the Staggerwing's, another interest we shared, RIP My Friend.
I only met DB once and he was a great character. I will miss his commentary, sense of humor and wisdom. Rest in peace Dick.
Wow I cant tell you all the time me and DB went rounds over stuff, I think I have got kicked off a couple times from some off the stuff we said back and forth It was all in good fun, he was always on when I was late at night and I always would post a picture late and he would be right there to give me info, and to correct me on my spelling LOL I sent him one can to repair. I always gave him a hard time about all the 36b tops he would not let go of. DB you are going to very missed R.I.P.
I want to put a different bend on this sad story. Dick was the first person I met when I got in this hobby and we live only half hour apart. I've been to his house probably two dozen times but always just for a short 5 minutes to pick up or deliver something. Now I'm going to throw our "good friend" Obama Care in. After all these years and now I'll always wonder why, I spent over an hour with Dick a week ago and part of the time we discussed his health. He told me he was feeling bad and couldn't afford to go to the doctor/hospital until Sept first because he couldn't get onto Obama Care until then. I told him I'd give him the money to go because he needed to go that day but he just gave his DB shrug and said he'd wait. God rest your soul Dick and I'll always be sorry I didn't push you harder to go to emergency
So sorry to hear!! Dick you will truly be missed on O.G, you had such knowledge and always willing to share! I always looked forward to your HUMOR and wit everyday when I checked out O.G!! May GOD be with you Judy ,and your FAMILY during this very hard time, LEAN on him, he is there for you. GOD BLESS, Brian
What a shame!! Met and talked with DB half a dozen times in Des Moines. Surprised to learn he was a few years younger than me. Received a number of PM's from Dick over the years asking questions about specific Mobil-related items or company-
related history. Always made me feel good to think he thought of me as a knowledgeable person. Respect is a hard thing to earn, and DB certainly had it from many, as evidenced by all the preceding posts. We all miss him already!!
I just wanted to mention my personal encounter with DB. We were going to Santa Paula to pick up a pump that I bought from Big Block Anthony that was residing at GPR's place. Dick said he'd meet us there. Well he helped load up the trailer and we went for lunch and then he showed us the town of SP. He had a number of pumps on display in the museum attached to the Union Oil Head Office Building and we tried to get into see those but it was the holidays and the curator would not return his call and we couldn't get in! We went to his home where we were treated to his Visi tree, Twin Towers of 36B tops, Wayne 492 as well as a visit to the guest bedroom. Now not too many women would have liked it but boy oh boy us petro guys would have! You can see why from the picture.
He was a patient gracious host and always asked of Bev in our subsequent conversations. A far far different person from the persona his avatar so well portrayed on OG. Judging from the response to the news of his passing one can say that you can spell respect on OG: DICK BENNETT.
Travel well Dick and see you in a few years,eh! And hopefully the curator answered your last call my friend.
Description: Dick showing us Union Oil smalls
tragic, I'll miss him, we had some great exchanges over shared opinions, rest in peace
My God...Never met the man, had many conversations and he helped me out on one transaction to complete my pump and yet I'm in tears...He is with God ! and may God bless his family and friends with peace and comfort in these tough times.......
God Bless DB, I met him at Iowa Gas 2013 and had a great few days visiting with him. He was a True asset to the hobby and will be missed!
My heartfelt condolences and prayers sent to Judy as well as his family and friends.
I am saddened by this loss. He made me laugh everyday and I always looked forward to checking Oldgas and seeing what he was up to. It is an understatement to say that this site will never be the same or hold the same allure. Those that knew DB; know that this hobby/site has lost more then it can every hope to replace. There are some losses that even time can not make up for. The passing of my friend, DB is one of them.
I feel privileged and honored to have had the opportunity get to know DB. It is unfortunate, that I never got to meet him. DB and I exchanged numerous e-mails and/or PM's almost on a daily basis.
I hold DB in high esteem and have the utmost respect for him. Him and I shared similar views and ideas on many subjects. I am sure, in the years to come I will fondly reflect on those colored conversations! He had a way with words, a quick wit that kept you on your toes.
"Words are few but thoughts are deep. Memories of our friendship I will always keep."
Sorry to hear this as I found out earlier today. He will be missed. I enjoyed his sarcasm as it was just like me. RIP DB and will miss him relidding many cans for me. He was a walking encyclopedia of pumps. Ted
I'm at a loss of words right now. Just plain in total shock!!
We Just got home from a trip up to see a fellow Old-Gasser and find this thread and thought it was a joke.
The man contacted me on my Birthday this year to welcome me to the old farts club.
Talked about him getting better so he'd be back at Iowa gas next year.
We have been pming back and forth over the last week over a few things and his last message to me was @ 9:20 last night and I wondered this morning why he had not read my reply ........
DB, I will miss you bigtime. It has been an honor to know you, learn from you and call you my friend!
And it's sad to think that the idiots in Washington who think they have all the answers to Healthcare probably took away this wealth of knowledge way too soon!
Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and to all his
Just to share a few of his last DB's from my PM with him:
"He [them] who keeps mouth shut collects No Flies, tells No Lies"
"Some times it Feels good being a DICK!"
I was very saddened to hear this as well. I was at work tonight and got two messages from fellow oldgassers that DB passed away . I never got the chance to meet DB in person but talked and agervated him via pm messages almost weekly for the past year and a half . Last Christmas I actually mailed him a 1 lb chunk of coal with no return address , he played possum like he knew nothing . We talked more than one occasion of his stories of fishing and frog gigging when he was a kid growning up in westeren mo . Like it or not he told it how he seen it , one has to respect that ......He will be missed ..... RIP DB .
I had the honor of meeting DB a couple of years ago when he stopped at my place hoping to find a few treasures. I didn't have any so we proceeded to tour Cheyenne's collectors. He parked Ryan's boat across the street and we took my car and left for the afternoon. He did find a station lighter and a few other things to take to IG. Afterwards we went dinner at a local restaurant and shot the breeze. I sent him on his way to IG about 6:30 knowing that I had just met a gentleman and one of the finest collectors that I have ever met. You will be missed. Mitch
Thank you Oldgas members for all your kind words. I met Dick in 2001 through seeing his name at the Santa Paula Oil Museum, and Oldgas. My wife and I are already missing Dick. He visited us very often and we had become great friends. Dick was always willing to help us with whatever needed to be done whether it involved gas pumps or home/ranch work. We swapped many pump stories over the years. Dick was a Jack of all trades guy that has taught me so much over the years.
Judy you are in our thoughts and prayers, and we are here whenever you need us. Thank you for sharing Dick with us over the years.
Rob and Lesley
Very sad to hear the news. I became friends with him through this forum and had the opportunity to meet him at a few bashes. A fun guy to joke around with too! Going to miss his dedication to the hobby.
I've been gone for awhile and hate to hear this. I wish his family all the best.
Very bad news indeed. I am 65 years old. I was just preparing to make my first order of the Vico oil cans from Dick. What a sad day for this community and his family. He had been most helpful on many of my questions posted here.RIP Dick.
I never had the chance to meet Dick but had some email conversations with him over the years. He could sometimes send me a question about some "foreign stuff" and was always quick to respond if I had a question.
It is funny how you feel that you know a person only through a site like this and a few emails, will miss You DB! R.I.P.
Thanks Dick for all your wisdom and insight. We will all definitely miss his knowledge. Rest in peace.
I never met DB but was looking forward to trying to meet him in person and mend a bridge this year in Iowa. I was disappointed when I heard that he wasn't attending because of his health. Unfortunately my last interaction with him was a typical spare over what I deemed "negativity". Maybe in retrospect we were a lot a like. I never was able to crack the hard shell into the friendship realm with him however We shared the love of the Hobby. My deepest sympathies to his wife and the Bennett Family. R.I.P. DB
He always kept us straight and was without question a storehouse of information and knowledge. He is irreplaceable. RIP Dave Jones
My condolences to the Bennett's. Being relatively new to the forum I never met Dick in person but thoroughly enjoyed his sense of humour with each post or admired him for the all the details and facts he could pass on for everyone's benefit. He was one collector that I always said to myself I needed to meet when I make it to Iowa. Unfortunately we'll never meet in person but he has left a lasting impression with me. Take care.
I am deeply troubled to hear this news. I have his family in my prayers.
Never met or talked to the man but he was certainly knowledgeable. I posted a question about a not common pump on here some years back and he replied in the post who had another like it... that fellow and I ended up helping each other out. I appreciated that.
Rest In Peace, and my condolences to his family and friends.
Condolences to the family. Dick will be sadly missed. Iowa and the hobby will not be the same.RIP
Dick was a Great Guy, far different then his posts made him seem. We exchanged emails almost on a daily basis. And if you ever got him talking on the phone he would talk your ear of for as long as you would listen. He was very good at Repairing Quart Cans and bringing them back to life with no dents and new lids. His Knowledge of the Hobby was second to none. I will miss his funny emails and PM's that I would get almost daily. RIP Buddy!!!
So sad to hear of DB's passing, his impressive amount of knowledge will be irreplaceable. He was definitely an icon on this site. RIP Dick.
I did not know Dick Bennett-I do know he was well respected on this forum -all we had in common was/is our age and years of collecting petroleum memorbilia. Each day is a precious day as we soon learn that we are not 40-50 and indistructable--
I was particularly struck by the outpouring and tributes to Dick-there is no question his contributions will be missed. I was also sad to read that his health might have been impacted by Obamacare-or inability to access medical treatments. This is so wrong and should be a wake-up call to all that sooner of later we all will be impacted by this misguided approach to medical care
my sincere condolences to his wife and family and may Dick Bennett rest in peace
Very sad to hear about Dick as the others sometimes we had exchanged emails.He always had something funny to say! I first meet Dick at Roy Reeds 15 plus years ago and he seemed like a Good Guy! Dick R.i.P. Jim
Sorry to hear of Dick's passing. I will miss his posts and talking with him at Iowa. The hobby lost a great one. He was truly one of a kind. R.I.P.
DB and i sent pm's back and forth many times and had a good laugh. I sure will miss him. Prayers from the Wright Family on the way.
Wow, sorry to hear this. I met him briefly at Iowa a few years ago, but new him much better from browsing Old Gas. Quite a character indeed....
Prayers for the family.
I've been on this site for a few years. Dick and I communicated via PM's and were helpful to each other. He was amazing in his instant knowledge of this industry. There will be a large hole in this site that will never be filled by the quality that was Dick Bennett. We've lost a friend. Paul www.severngaspumps.com
A very sad day in this hobby. I too learned a lot from Dick over the years. He will surely be missed........
I am very sorry to hear of DB's passing, my thoughts and prayers are with his family. I never had the pleasure to meet him but I fully understand the impact he had on this hobby. From reading all of these posts it sounds like he has a very large extended family, he will be missed by all.
My condolences also, I've met and spoke with Dick several times at Iowa and enjoyed his comments and knowledge here on Oldgas, he will be missed greatly.
So sorry to here Of the Passing of Dick Bennett. He made this hobby very enjoyable on this site. Wish I had a chance to meet with him. R.I.P.
Truly sorry to hear this news. His comments and unique posts on OG always made me chuckle. It's very clear to see he was a big asset to this community. DB will be missed.
Received a text from Mick. I am truly heartbroken with this terrible news. There was always a seat for you in "da shade" at Iowa. I will miss you raiding the da shade's big box of chicken for the wings. I will miss our occasional phone conversations, your wit, dry humor, knowledge, and most of all just being Dick. Years ago,the first time I meet Dick and Larry(St.Rod) he said to me "that's why they call me Dick".
Rest in peace my friend.
Wow what a shock just saw this. Dick's knowledge and his sense of humor was priceless. I knew Dick back in the 1980s when I lived in California for several years. So sorry and shocked to hear this. My condolences to his family. Scott B.
Another pioneer in the hobby gone.
Been seeing his posts for 15(?) years on oldgas...
Just recievd a text about Dick. The hobby has suffered a big loss as Dick was a valued friend and a house of knowledge. I will miss the orange at Iowa and the late nite PM's. Rest in peace my friend, and my heartfelt condolences to his wife and family.
I never had the opportunity to meet this great man, but will miss him.
My thoughts and prayers are with Dicks Family. So sad to hear this this morning. I will miss you you old crow..youre lidding quarts in heaven for God now. I hope your passing was peaceful my friend. You will be missed.
A couple of days ago it dawned on me that I hadn't heard from Dick for quite awhile. We used to trade PM's and emails about issues on this site, the hobby, our work, and pretty much anything that was on our minds. The first thing I thought of when I heard of his passing was I wish I had contacted him when I thought of him a few days ago.
I don't remember ever being a target of DB's wrath, but he was the target of mine from time to time when I was a moderator and admin on this forum. He often admitted that he was too hard on people on here. His message was usually spot on, it was his delivery that was too matter of fact for some. He didn't like phony people or people that were too full of themselves. Under that gruff exterior was a very nice and helpful guy. I remember him saying he cried when Chris Holt died.
One thing is for certain, the hobby lost one of it's most knowledgeable contributors. Back when we had several regular weekly and monthly features in the showcase forum Neal Dunn hosted a contest called Neal's Gas Pump Challenge where he'd post a picture of a small portion of a gas pump and people would post what kind of pump they thought it was. Neal discontinued the contest because DB would always win the contest. It took DB all of 18 seconds to post the correct answer one week. He was instrumental in identifying many rare pump images when Jim was building the gas pump album.
DB would watch the weather and send me an email when the forecast high would be 10 below zero here in Illinois saying he'd be thinking of me while working in 80 degree temps that day.
DB's passing is a huge loss for the hobby, and and equally huge loss for those of us that considered him a friend.
My sincere condolences to Judy, and all of DB's family and friends.
I too am sad to hear of Dick's passing! He always helped me with information about this great hobby we all share. It seemed weird to me that Dick emailed me this past week to ask me for help on the value of a Conoco sign he just picked up in a collection he bought last week? It was only weird , because it was always me asking all the questions. Glad and sad we got to share that time together.
You will be missed .
I was shocked when I read this this morning! Me and DB would talk in PM`s alot and I always enjoyed his quick wit I could never top him ever. We talked alot when he fixed some cans for me he was a great guy and there will only be one Dick Bennett, he was the first one to welcome me to the site and was always a wealth of information.
Dick you left us way to soon, I will miss you very much my friend and may God be with you and your family, I have loved you like a brother.
Very very sad news, the hobby will not be the same.
Thoughts and prayers to Dick's family.
My deepest sympathies to his family. Loved to hear his comments on this site.
I was in Santa Paula about 10 years ago and went by his house. What a nice guy. I am very sorry to here that.
Sad news on his passing.
His fount of knowledge was amazing even in the short time I experienced it.
Wow, sad to hear about the loss of such a great guy, but also amazing to read all of the comments and see how any people DB impacted in his life here on OG. Although I never had the chance to meet him in person he was more then helpful to answer my newbie questions and enlighten me to his "little" bit of gas knowledge! " sarcasm " ....... I always appreciated learning about my new hobby from him. With an open invite to stop by his and Robs any time I was in the area seemed like a great time, especially since he came off as a tough skinned old timer who didn't put up with the BS. I admired this in him in such a pussified politically correct society to speak his mind.
Thanks DB for all you did for hobby in your life and after, my prayers go out to Mrs.B .... That you may feel the love and comfort of friends, family and memories of a life that will not be forgotten.
This site will never be the same without him.
As he once told me..." Not everyone can be a Dick"...
My heartfelt sympathies to his family.
I had to wait until my emotions cleared before posting about DB. I really enjoyed reading all of the different posts about the connections with him and the way he had of personally connecting with so many!
From the beginning of my interaction with this site, I immediately became friends with Dick, because we seemed to understand each other. It wasn't hard to get to know the man, if you took a few moments and really listened to him. He was very kind hearted and at the same time misunderstood, because of his gruff exterior. I think it was his way of keeping the phonies at bay!
Our interactions over the years seem to mirror much of the way that he interacted with many of the rest of you. It seems he was great with the PM messages, and used it as his preferred method of interaction with the membership. We had many phone conversations in the past, but much more frequent was the occasional PM that contained his opinion on a subject, and every once in a great while, he would offer up a question on something! I never really knew if the question was sincere, or just a method he used to open another conversation.
Sometimes the messages were daily and at other times it would be a few weeks before another interaction, but you could always count on it happening! It seemed that anytime I asked a technical question, he had the answer at the tip of his tongue, and never had to refer to any materials, he had the info stored in his brain!
I was privileged enough to have his personal cell number on speed dial and if you had access to that phone number, you had a wealth of information available. I remember the first time I called him on his cell and he snapped at me as to how I got the number! I replied that he had sent it to me in a PM, so that I could call him in the future, and he laughed and said "Oh that's right"! I felt sort of "approved of" when I got that from him.
For the first couple years that I knew DB, he often referred to me as "NEWBIE", and I once asked him how long it took to be shed of that moniker? He replied that he would let me know when I got there, and guess what!!! That day never did arrive, but there was a time when he finally stopped referring to me as "NEWBIE", and maybe that was my graduation day? For him to officially tell me that would have been for him to admit that I actually knew something, and I believe it was just his way of telling me without ever really acknowledging it. He used that method with a lot of things and I imagine that the rest of you experienced the same thing in one way or another!
Every once in a while, an event like this reminds me of my own mortality and brings me back to earth again. It is too easy to get so taken up with daily life that we forget the importance of faith and friends on this journey we call life. The enjoyment we get from our self imposed journey and possessions, tend to transcend the "REAL" things that surround us and are available if we can only notice them, and it seems to take events like this to bring us back to reality and the really important things in life!
I am truly saddened with the loss of DB and felt like we had a kinship of sorts, as we were only 2 or 3 months apart in age (him being older). We grew up at the same time in this world, just on different paths and different locations, but we both experienced the same world history and watched the same world unfold. From 1948 until now, has been a great time to be alive, and one of the greatest treasures I gained in this time, is the insight and friendship given to me by others like Dick. These will carry me through to the end, but I will really miss the loss of future interaction with him. We have all lost a great friend--mentor--teacher--collector--historian!! Rest in peace Dick Bennett--Rest in Peace!!
Picture is Dick Bennett and Mick DsChida gutting a Tok 36B in the Iowa Gas parking lot--2011
Last night I was just to shook up to say much. Just couldn't believe what I was hearing.Today reality has set in,and it's a very gloomy day here. Like many of you,I also conversed with DB on a regular basis.(wow! Just think of the time he spent ,helping all of us!) not only did we talk about Petro,but we talked about pugs(private hotline when Bella was sick or acting up)lemons and oranges and peaches,(remember "bowling for oranges at Iowa Gas?)roller nozzles(the famous pile of rollers at Iowa) and of course BEER! At our first meeting years back at Iowa,he gave Steven over a dozen of his labeled oil cans. Dirty jokes arrived in my email,and made me laugh many times.Sometimes he'd talk my ear off,and I'd finally say" Say Goodnight Dick!"( and of course he'd say" Goodnight Dick!) could go on and on,but I' ll just say "Goodnight Dick" one last time. Prayers sent to his wife and family from the Dschida's and Bella
(Bella getting a good scratch from one of her best friends)
You wake up each day and really never know what it will bring. There are certain moments in life that just demand a higher level of a attention and care to detail. The moment itself even demanding respect. There are things we do all the time, and for the most part, the moment in which we do them, is basically meaningless. But then there comes a day, a moment in time, when that same mundane task takes on a completely different meaning. Like the day of my Dad's funeral. A good shine on my dress shoes has always been a small pet peeve of mine. And I always knew there would come a moment when I would be putting a shine on my shoes to attend my Dad's funeral. And then that day came. And I will absolutely never forget shining my shoes that morning. It was a sad mement to say the least, but still a special moment that demanded attention to detail. A moment, that to me, demanded a certain level of respect. A moment that I shared with my Dad as I knew he too appreciated a good shine on your shoes. Like on a Sunday morning before church. I'm sure that's were I got it from.
So today I awake, and I find out that the hobby has lost one of it's patriarchs. A man I never even met. And a man that for some reason, I have come to really appreciate. A man who was a surprising pain in my side when I first found this hobby and this web site. I say a surprise because I didn't expect such responses. Despite my stupid questions. Who was this guy? And why did it feel as if he had it out for me? Well that man of course was Dick Bennett. And in time I think we came to terms. Or at least I know I came to terms with him. It took a while but eventually, as I matured in the hobby a little bit, I learned to feel his sarcasms. To see his wit. Which once the vale was lifted on his wit, wow, what a guy!! A lot of fun! And through it all, and most important, to see his knowledge. I saw him beat up on a few others, and I wrote to them and tried to comfort them a bit. Through my experiences with him, tried to get them to see his motives. That a certain level of respect was due him as well as other senior members around here.
So Oldgas will go on. And Oldgas will still be a great place with great people. But there is no way Oldgas can ever be the same. For the newbies that will never feel his wrath. You will never know what joy you missed out on!
Well, today, I take a moment. A special and repectful moment, and I shine my shoes for you DB! RIP Mr. Bennett and may the one true God, the God of the Bible, be with, and bless your family in this tough time.
I can not begin to say how many peoples lives DB touched, in just the 1 1/2 years I have been on this site, there was hardly a day that he wasn't posting help or advice to someone. Him and I are from the age of no computers or smart phones, if you needed help. you looked in a manual or if lucky had an older experienced hand like him near, if you paid attention,you never forgot the lesson.
I never got to meet him, health issues kept me from IG in 2013, told wife I want to meet some of the people on here, so we went this past year, saw his note about not coming, hoping maybe something would change for him. It just shows, don't put off a visit with a friend, because you are busy, they might not wait for you.
Rest In Peace Dick !!
We never got along but i still want to send condolences & prayers to his family
It just shows, don't put off a visit with a friend, because you are busy, they might not wait for you.
You never know. A life can change in a heartbeat and you can miss an opportunity to connect with someone you intended to ... someday.
I will miss Dick, a man who I am proud to call my friend. We would visit and always had fun. His knowledge helped me and many others on many occaisions. He was always ready to pull a joke on people and yes he was hard on new guys but he was a blessing in my life. Rest in peace my friend
We never got along but i still want to send condolences & prayers to his family
Guys on the receiving end of Dick's gruff comments often never understood his intent, only the rough delivery sunk in. If he didn't care, he wouldn't have wasted his time. He thought he could make a difference in each person he conversed with on the forum. We disagreed on how to deal with people sometimes, but nice and tactful doesn't work all the time either.
Dick was my mentor when I came into this hobby,he showed me soo much and was always willing to help in any way..even though he was a little gruff,that never bothered me cause that`s who he was and I understood that ..he had a soft and funny side..I`ll always cherish the time he came to visit my family and see my collection..he helped me create some fanasty cans and t-shirts and that was fun doing that.. I will miss him a lot and all the pm`s we would do!!I`m very proud that he was my friend!!!miss you allready.
Most everyone has said it all....As a moderator of one of the sections, DB would send me some posts and sometimes I removed some of his...but, we always exchanged some great PMs and learned much from him. We recently had a great exchange about my being too busy at work to get to some gas shows. Told him Iowa was on my "bucket list." He told me to get off my "bucket" (butt) and get there. He told me if I went next year we would get together....dang it.
I have done too many eulogies for friends the last few years, but i will say, "Today we are heartbroken, but heart break is the price we pay for love." So long, DB, best friend I never met...
Always looked forward to DB's advise. About two weeks ago he was helping me with something I couldn't figure out. Here are two of his direct quotes when I couldn't figure it out:
"IF you were next door right now, I'd walk over & slap ya SILLY! IT's SOO EASY, even a Drunk can do it."
"How many times did you fall off a 2 wheeler before your dad removed the training wheels?"
See... he still makes us laugh. I will miss his witty comments, his advice and knowledge. RIP DB.
Dick answered a lot of questions for me and once told me the only dumb question was the one not ask. We all lost by his passing. Thoughts and Prayers to his wife and family.
Go back over twenty years ago and standing at the Charlotte Swap meet, a friend of mine told me to call a guy named Dick Bennett. When I was restoring pumps heavy, Dick became a go to guy for help with finding pump parts and finding guys who could help with problems I couldn't solve. This is before the internet and cell phones were everyones solution. It was so much clearer over the landline when he told you how easy that was and how dumb could you be. This man took the time to help someone he hardly knew and had never met, and I am a better man today for it. His desire to help someone in the hobby without any hesitation has prompted me over the years to do the same. I hope someday someone will say some of the same things said of Mr. Bennett here, about me someday. I know I will have succeeded in life when they say that David was a Dick too.
Sorry to hear this news. He and I shared some fun PM's back and forth. Genuinely fun. This is another sad reminder that all this fun stuff we chase day in and day out is just that- STUFF. At the end of the day, whether we like it or not, we leave it all behind and move on. It's the relationships that we have with others that truly matter. Condolences to DB's family during this hard time.
I knew Dick Bennett for 25 years..I met him at Pomona, and we became friends that day. He guided and helped me avoid buying reproductions, typical mistakes by a newbie. He welcomed me into his home with his lovely wife Judy. My eyes popped at first getting to see his fantastic collection. He showed me various old Gas Station sites inthe Santa Paula area . We went to the Union Oil museum and viewed his handwork. An unforgettable man, With unforgettable talent.
I hadn't seen Dick in person in 15 years , But I kept in touch on the phone and by email so.. Dick and Gas Pump Rob last Saturday came to pick up my collection I had sold to Dick.. It breaks my heart learning that He passed.. He didn't even get to enjoy what he came for. It was a pleasure to meet Rob..He truly was watching over Dick, Reminding him to take it easy, Rob moved all the heavy stuff. You could see the love and friendship between them. I told Dick to feel better and if nothing else hang in there out of sheer spite.
My condolences to Judy, and to you Rob. The world will be lonelier without him for a lot of us.. Rest In Peace Dick.. May God lift you up into His loving arms, and bring Peace and Comfort to Judy and all of us who were fortunate to have known him. You won't be forgotten.
With Love, Big Dave
What a great eulogy for a great man.....some people talk about the gruffness and i know many who are the same,(me)for one, LOL, however that was his way of showing love...there was not a mean bone in his body, just a great love for the hobby and it showed....I feel very fortunate to have exchanged 5 emails with him the night before..
I must admit I have been p*ssed off all day today... I knew that db was not feeling well and I had asked him to go to a Dr and/or emergency room to be checked... But, he always deflected my concerns and steered the conversation to another topic...
When talking together whether over the phone, by PM or email... He was always telling me to take care of my health problems and then we would joke that we would "outlast" the younger guys...
As a few others have noted, I imagine that God had a question about a pump that he just couldn't wait to be answered...
I will miss our late night West Coast conversations, your humor, knowledge and most of all your friendship!
Take care my friend and hopefully we will reconnect on the other side of this journey...
wow Hate to hear this. Thoughts are with his family. R.I.P. DB
I am not good with words but can tell you I was very upset when I hear about this yesterday. I will miss you Dick.
Condolences to Dick's wife and family. What a shock to learn of this. Like everyone in the umpteen pages before me, there are projects around here that got finished only because of DB's knowledge and help. R.I.P. Mr. Bennett.
As an educator, my stock in trade is words. At this moment, I have none adequate to describe such a feeling of loss for a man I never met. I even avoided sparring with him because I knew that I would lose. I have counseled several folks in PM's that once you get over Dick being a dick the probability of receiving an education would be increased exponentially.
One of the things that strikes me is that he never bragged about what his collection entailed, only referring to an item he possessed in the context of the question or issue that was being discussed. He only used it as a vehicle to impart knowledge, not to stroke his ego.
Rest in Peace, DB.
Something we've all forgotten to mention. Thanks for serving this beautiful country of ours Dick. Godspeed
Oh my god , I have been off the sight for about a day and half and just read about DB.This is very hart breaking news. Very sad to hear this, I had the pleasure of meeting Dick Bennett when he came over to my house to see my little collection when I was first starting out, on his way to Iowa Gas And he gave me one of his oil cans I was proud to meet him. and also he was wealth of knowledge and encouraging for my collection and very helpful with even how to do things on the computer for oldgas.com
He was one of the greatest assets to the hobby, Will be truly missed by many . RIP Dick Bennett
I just learned of Dicks passing here in Indianapolis at the NHRA Drag races. I never met the man but like many, talked to him on the computer having many interesting conversations. I too am 64 and just feel so bad that he was not able to get adequate health care when he needed it the most. My heart felt condolences to his family and I will miss him like Kyle Moore and the others that have passed over to the other side. RIP Dick you were and still are one of the great ones in the hobby. We will meet, Rest in peace.
I never met the man,but enjoyed his passion and comments..
Picture compliments of google
Rest in peace Mr. Bennett (or in a pile of rusted pumps)
Many many thanks for his help and many heavy hearts will be felt as the years of knowledge are lost. I'm glad to say he gave me great advice and did it in his own way!!
With all my respect, I will miss DB
My thoughts and prayers go out to Dick's wife and his family. What a wealth of knowledge he had for the hobby. I always looked forward to Dick's response to a post and appreciated his guidance on projects. He will be missed.
Many many thanks for his help and many heavy hearts will be felt as the years of knowledge are lost. I'm glad to say he gave me great advice and did it in his own way!!
With all my respect, I will miss DB
Alan-- I'm sure DB would wish you a speedy recovery if he were here! I'm glad to see you have recovered enough to post here on Old Gas! I'm so glad you have made it thru this experience and will be able to continue on with the rest of us! Good to hear from you!
Condolences to Dicks family & friends... he will be missed by all.
It has all been said many times here the past couple of days.
I have nothing to add, but sorry for your loss to Dick's family.
I hope someone will post Dick's obituary.
And thanks "blacktee" for letting us know he was a "Brother In Arms". I hope his wife will contact the Veterans Affairs Department and request an appropriate tribute at his funeral. I had no idea he served, when, where or what branch.
My thoughts and prayers go out to Dick's wife, family and friends at this very difficult time. I have had many contacts with Dick through the years here on oldgas since the early days of this site but never met in person. His great knowledge of gas/oil stuff will be missed.
Rest in peace.
...I turn on the computer to check my emails and...
damn...he and I were messaging back and forth Thursday evening, before I left work...
...my sincere condolences to his wife and family...his contributions to this site, and the hobby in general, are immeasurable...he was always ready and willing to help me out with any questions I had...I really, really hate that I never got to meet him in person...Rest in peace, DB...
In my short time on this site, I had very little interaction with DB. He went out of his way to offer me suggestions on where/how to find pumps in the wild, and even passed along a few eBay listings that were fairly close to my house.
His contribution to the hobby cannot be replaced, and his love for this site was boundless. In no way will I ever be able to replace any of the knowledge that this site lost with his passing. However, out of respect for his contributions, I am going to make a donation to help keep this place running, It's the least I can do.
Just got on the site and couldn't believe the news. It is most obvious that Dick was a well respected gentleman on this site. I was blessed with an opportunity to visit with him at his home a few years ago and you could not find a more gracious host. His knowledge of gas pumps just amazed me and he was always willing to share with anybody. I could always send him an email with a "what is this part" and he would nail it every time.
Let us all remember that tomorrow is not promised to any of us. My heart goes out to his family and to Gas Pump Rob, his close friend.
God Bless Dick, you will be missed.
Wow very saddened to hear this.. I chatted with him once when I first joined and he was very helpful and welcoming to the site. RIP DB..
The narratives where he included oldgas usernames into the stories were classics.
Dick and I had our differences, but you have to respect the man's incredible knowledge on all things petro.
The George Jones song "Who's Gonna Fill Their Shoes" comes to mind, but there is nobody evenly remotely capable of filling Dick's Shoes.
He was the Spark Plug that made the OldGas hit-n-miss engine go.
OG will never be the same...... RIP Dick.
When I joined the site back in 2008, I did not post for almost a year because I wanted to know who is who on the site.
It did not take me long to know several senior "Veteran members" & db was one of them. I was lost with all pump questions, especially, Tokheim 36 vs 36B vs. 36BDP.
I sent a PM that I wanted to talk to him about these pumps. db called me right away & explained in detail the differences & made it clear that 36BDP with "real" clock
are hard to find! I will never forget how organized db was when going over the history of Tokheim "computer" vs. "clock face".
I wish I had met db. I was hoping to meet db at last Escalon bash, but work would not allow me.
Thank you for all the education "professor".
This outpouring of love and respect for DB reminds me of a funeral I attended years ago, where a man got up to speak. He stood up and said "Joe was my best friend, but from everything that's been shared today, it's obvious I was not his best friend"
Well, it's obvious DB has touched us all. I've known DB for many years. Not as many as some, but many. When my 20 year old grandson was 3 years old, he attended his first Roy Reed gas bash. DB made sure that the 3yr old didn't leave the show without his first oil can. He did the same for the next two grandsons that followed. DB was to be my wife's 1st phone call after I passed, to help her figure the best way to dispose of my collection. He would kid me all the time about being in my will, and I did the same with him. He was honest to a fault. Not one time have I heard of a "deal" gone bad where he was involved. He was not a braggard, however he did like to remind you that he had been playing this game for many, many years! When I learned of his passing, still in shock, my wife asked me, "so who are you going to call now?" "Who is going to rise up in his place on old gas?".......Dick you were not suppose to do this. Rest In Peace DB.
...I turn on the computer to check my emails and...
damn...he and I were messaging back and forth Thursday evening, before I left work...
Though I have posted on this already, I keep going back and reading more responses.
It seems that many of us were having PM's going on with him when he died so hopefully he was enjoying coming up with another "DB" for one of us when he passed as he enjoyed sharing them so much.
This is VERY sad to hear. It really hits you when someone suddenly is called by the heavenly father. I will try my hardest with collecting, preserving and proceeding with the hobby as DB would want, RIP.
Very sad news, condolences to his family and friends.
He was a great personality with lots of knowledge.
His contributions here will always be remembered.
Very sad news. Condolences to Judy, from another Judy.
I am shocked!
oldgas will never be the same without DB.
My condolences to his family.
Thank you for all your help over the years.
You will never be forgotten...
RIP my friend!
Oh no!!! Just an amazing guy, I enjoyed reading his posts and he was always there for helping out. DB you'll be missed!
Being a little slow and taken some time for things to sink in I busted into the Charlston vanilla bar my aunt found in her basement and had a few drinks tonight thinking about DB. I had sold him a half of a 36 double a ways back and didn't realize it was Dick till I joined this site. I used to think " what a smart *****" But now it's like I am going to miss the smart *****!!! What a loss! Who will fill that void? It would be a tough one to fill. He ***** me off but on the flip side he helped me out. I'm confused, But I know I will miss him. RIP DB
Well ,I'm not superstitious ,but saw this on Facebook today .it has to be some kind of sign!!😄
I must admit its been a sad weekend since learning of Dick's passing. As I have not been collecting but a few years, I tend to read this site as a learning tool more than posting. What impressed me most was Dick's apparent omnipresence on this site. It seemed hardly any topic would go untouched, no question unanswered, no request for guidance unfilled, and no silliness left unchecked. His detacation to this site and us cannot be measured. Helping us seemed to be his mission. We have lost a great teacher and I will miss you DB.......
Our sincere condolences to the family.
Ron & Cathy Scobie
From Dick Bennett's good friend, Dennis Maier
"To all of the Oldgas community,
Regarding the passing of our friend and mentor, “The Professor”, Dick Bennett, his wife, Judy wanted to give you all her heartfelt thanks for the outpouring of comments, thoughts, and prayers you have sent her way. It means so much to her to know that he meant so much to you. After 39 years with Dick it’s going to be a different world for her. Your response on Oldgas will go a long way to soothe her broken heart. She is not a computer person but we will print out all your comments for her to read. Sincere thanks to you all for chiming in. He leaves a huge hole in our hobby and a huge hole in my heart.
I never got off my dumb butt and got involved with Oldgas but many of you know and love me anyway (ha,ha,ha…shut up) so I asked my friend Rob to post this message for me. Took a couple days for this to start sinking in. I think Oldgas has been a great thing for this hobby and it certainly provided countless hours of enjoyment for Dick. It’s amazing and gratifying to see how many people he affected all over this hobby!
I guess I knew Dick better than most but my story is just like a lot of the comments you posted. In the days before the internet and cell phones I was a new guy with a genuine interest in the hobby and was lucky enough to connect with the most knowledgeable guy in the hobby. He had no patience for wannabee’s and it helped that I was a pump guy but I think he saw that I was a “true believer” and he generously welcomed me and educated me along the way. If he decided you were the real deal you had a true blue friend for life. Then it was up to you if you wanted to accept it. He forgot more than I’ll ever know about this stuff. He was a true freak of nature when it came to retaining detailed knowledge of not just pumps but the entire scope of petroliana and other antique genre. And he was more than willing to share it with you if you were willing to learn. He was relentless and smart in his research and always willing to help a fellow collector if he could. He was also a creative genius and backyard engineer who could take a pile of sticks and rocks and build anything you need. It might not end up pretty but it would more than serve the need at hand. He was brilliant at figuring out how something worked. He was a self-taught craftsman who doggedly strove to master whatever he put his mind to. Maybe he wasn’t the smartest guy in the world but he was usually the smartest guy in the room. He had more common sense than any well-schooled professor and wasn’t shy about dishing it out with blunt and caustic humor. And he was never embarrassed or offended when it was his turn to receive the butt end of a joke. But if you engaged him in a battle of wits chances are you were going to run out of ammunition long before he ever did. He served a stint in the navy and learned how to tie all those fancy knots. Always gave me a hard time about all my ratchet straps. He could do more with a little piece of rope than I could with a whole truckload of ratchet straps.
In the early days we traveled across the country together on Iowa Gas trips. I think back now and am amazed at the amount of ground we covered and places we stopped. It seemed like he knew everybody in the country. Brutal and exhausting trips, but what great memories. He never ran out of stories to tell or knowledge to share. And he never stopped learning himself. Everyone and everywhere has something to teach you if you’re paying attention.
Dick and Judy have always been gracious and generous hosts if you came to visit. I slept on the floor in “Dick’s Room” many times finding it hard to go to sleep for looking around at all the cool stuff packed in there. So I returned the favor and put him up on the floor in my guest room when he would come by for a stopover. That room has forever since been dubbed the “Dick Bennett” suite. A couple of you other guys out there have also slept on that floor.
His genuine enthusiasm and historical interest in the hobby never waned. He was like a kid with the new toy of his dreams when he would finally obtain a piece he had searched for for years. He couldn’t wait to tell you all about it and what the historical significance of it was. He certainly understood the economics of the hobby but it was the history and the thrill of the game that tripped his trigger. He truly loved this wonderful hobby and connecting with all the other people around the country who love it. He always enjoyed taking visitors to the California Oil Museum in downtown Santa Paula, the original 1890 headquarters for Union Oil. A good part of his collection is there on loan to the museum.
For those of you out there who never got past the “grumpy old fart” exterior I only wish you could have known the man I got to know. I will forever be proud and grateful to be called his friend. For some reason he took a liking to me early on and vice versa. I was never looking for something for nothing from him, never trying to turn a buck on him, never presented myself as something other than what I am, and never trying to judge him on anything but the content of his character. I could tell from the moment I met him that he could spot a bullpattie coming from a mile away. We earned each other’s trust and respect and he never ever betrayed that trust. I hope he felt the same way about me. Beyond the gruff exterior I got to know his character pretty well. If I had to choose the guy next to me in a foxhole it would be a guy like Dick. Tough as nails, smart as a whip, steady as a rock, loyal as a bulldog, and funnier than Rodney Dangerfield.
I know a lot of you out there probably have some hard feelings after being subjected to his scathing, cruel, razor whit and I don’t blame you one bit. But you should know that Dick doesn’t blame you one bit either. He knew exactly who he was and never felt the need to apologize for being Dick. Nor should he. He paid his dues and then some. Either you get it or you don’t. He didn’t spend a lot of time worrying about it. If you can roll with it and get over yourself you’ll be fine, if not, oh well, your loss. But know also that he saved his most wicked and embarrassing barbs for himself. His self-deprecating jabs would literally have you rolling on the ground laughing at him. That’s who he was. Brutally honest. He didn’t suffer any fools or fakes. Take a good look at the world we live in today and tell me we aren’t in dire need of some brutal honesty. Take a good long look in the mirror and ask yourself if the guy staring back at you is capable of that kind of honesty.
Many of you may not know that a few years ago Dick fell from a scaffolding and broke his left wrist. The doctors all said it was the worst wrist fracture they had ever seen. A lot of nerve and ligament damage. He never regained full use of that hand. To me it seems that’s when his health started to decline. He wasn’t able to work for a long time and when he finally was able the economy had pretty much destroyed any chance of work. That’s why he had so much time to spend with all you guys on Oldgas and you should know that he truly relished every minute of it. It was the perfect place for him to share his passion and knowledge and stunning personality and stay connected to the hobby. So thanks to all of you out there for keeping the grumpy old fart busy. He enjoyed it immensely. In the weeks and months to come I think the Oldgas community will come to a new realization of just what a treasure we’ve lost. First, Kyle Moore, and now, Dick Bennett. He was one of the people responsible for the creation and continuation of this wonderful hobby. I look around at my collection of junk and can see Dick’s hand in every nook and cranny. I know a lot of you can say the same. So enjoy it. Treasure it and appreciate it and have some fun. And be helpful and kind and generous to each other. It brings to mind a comment made by another great West Coast collector, Roy Reed, when he was selling off most of his great collection. He commented that none of us actually own any of this stuff, we’re just temporary caretakers. It belongs to the ages and now so does Dick. Our hobby has lost one of its original, old school, irreplaceable icons.
As for me, I just miss my friend."
A BIG Thanks for Denis Maier for sharing his thoughts and feelings of his good friend Dick Bennett. I just pray Dick's not causing too much trouble up stairs. ; ) God Speed Dick
Dennis, Thanks for this great insight on DB. He truly will be missed.
Using the pic from cold pizza I did the text unfortunately the pic got distorted but thought it would be a good way for us all to remember the "grumpy old guy" was happiest when he was in the hobby enjoying it with family and friends. Again I unfortunately didn't get to meet him. May we all see him again in the new world.
Thanks Dennis, That's a great story and Insight to DB.
DB asked me a short while back, That if this was my 13th year at Iowa Gas, Why we hadn't met many years ago there? I responded that I spent those first years in the shadows buying what I could, listening and learning the Hobby....to which he replied one of his DB's something like " you were planning your future in the Hobby by listening and learning from the past"
He had a way with words that's for sure!
Thanks, Dennis. Platitudes and b.s. are often the menu served when a man passes, but seldom is a man truly and fully eulogized. I think you have done just that and I, for one, sincerely appreciate your doing it so well and completely. My condolences to you-it is tough in life to find a true, honest, and loyal friend and devastating to lose one.
so sad my sympathy to the family
Rip DB...this place will so not ever be the same...
My condolences go out to the Family and friends of Dick Bennett, I enjoyed talking with him on this site. He could answer any gas pump question you may have. I am shocked to hear of his passing.
I'm sure some of you suspected and a few knew for sure but didn't say anything. Dick Bennett has been a moderator on Oldgas.com Shop Talk for the past 7 years as "Watchdog7." He and I sincerely tried to balance friendship and objectivity in how decisions were made. I worked with DB to tone down his rough delivery and past grudges and still be Dick. Lots of his rougher posts got deleted or edited and he seldom complained about it.
I've been accused of letting DB get away with everything and giving him a supply of "Get out of jail free" cards. The truth is we went around and around in discussing and adjusting how situations and members were dealt with. We didn't always agree, but I trusted DB and he let me down only occasionally with his delivery, not with his honesty, objectivity or dedication to the forum and hobby. He regularly gave me a hard time about being to easy on certain people and issues. Some of the changes in the forum to make things better were his original ideas.
I was glad to share a foxhole with DB in the fight to keep the Oldgas.com community on focus, family friendly and with minimal serious conflict.
I kinda figured that out when watchdog7 PM'd me about something Dick & I were talking about.I asked how did he know that detail?
He replied Dick told him,but I kind of sensed I was talking to the same person.He wouldn't admit it..
Later on,I asked Dick a question about something else,and he answered it,and also replied..."Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain"...As in reference to the final scene in the Wizard of Oz when ToTo pulls back the curtain on the wizard.
I just got home from the cabin. I caught wind of this from another oldgassser on Facebook on Sunday while in an area where I had phone coverage. I am very saddened to hear that Dick has passed away. Oldgas will never be the same. He was one of the Oldgas OG's..
Dick will be missed for sure! Funny he would send a random pm about stuff on this site and I would smile when it would show up.
Godspeed my friend!
Quote Ryan..He was one of the Oldgas OG's..
I like that
Miss ya' buddy
Can anyone post a link to his obituary? We have been looking online, but can't find it.
Can anyone post a link to his obituary? We have been looking online, but can't find it.
When I find out, I'll share here.
It's just tough to see this. Dick was a person full of humor and knowledge that nobody else will ever know. I never got to meet him, but boy I sure wish I could've. He was tough on me starting out here, but you know he has been absolutely great to me ever since. We PM'ed every once in awhile and always had a great time. I have one real close friend who has an immense amount of knowledge on this hobby also, just now one less man with that immense knowledge. He is in a better place now, but we have to suffer here over it. I know he would want us to move on and keep collecting! RIP Dick Bennett. I will miss that humor and knowledge.
You always had an honest answer I could trust to my questions over the years.
The loss of your knowledge, dry wit and humor on this website will surely be missed by many, for a long time to come.
We've been away since friday a.m. with 0 cell and internet service. Reading this this a.m. is just heartbreaking and shocking, I too was emailing and PMing with Dick just before we left, I too would smile when I saw another PM or especially an email from him, we chatted quite frequently about many issues. A few times I would not have a clue as to what he was saying, His comment back would be OOPS, that was supposed to go to someone else, Which now I understand seeing all the people he shared pms with could have got confusing.
I've never been to Iowa Gas and even as I am not as interested in collecting as I once was I still wanted to get to Iowa with the sole intention of meeting Dick and Mick.
Rest in Peace Dick, you will be missed.
Although I never met Dick in person, I reached out to him several times on pump questions and just last week on oil cans. He was always willing to share his extensive knowledge.
Thanks, Dick, you will be missed.
Just seeing this......
Very sorry to hear this. As I might not have had as much interaction with Dick as most of you have, he did help me out on a tin can a couple weeks ago. He didnt have to, but he reached out and offered his help got me going in the right direction. Now I have a tin can in my collection that I have been looking for.
I also enjoy reading his posts and comments. He will be missed for sure.
So sorry to hear this. Dick was one of a kind and will be missed. We traded oranges for NYS goodies and had fun with it. His wealth of knowledge will be missed. Prayers to his family. RIP Dick..
Prayers to DB's family and friends. I always enjoyed when I would look at the listing of topics and see where he typed the last post and would click on it to see his opinion or info he gave about it. As alot of others have mentioned he always was very quick to help answer any question.
Sad to hear. I miss him already, I always liked that guy! he knew A LOT of stuff.
Deepest sympathy goes out to Family and Friends!
Very sad to hear of his passing. My deepest sympathy goes out to his family and friends.
I wrote this on another post, but thought it belonged here, because of all the help DB gave me.
I was in California when Dick passed. I was so busy I never looked on OG for over a week. Finally started looking at the posts here, but started with the newest ones, instead of the oldest ones. A subject came up and I emailed a question to DB, again not knowing all this. Really feel bad about his passing and my email.
Dick and I were close, we are both cynics, but DB was more verbal than I am.
Not many people know this but Dick on one of five people that helped me put values on all the gas pumps in my first book.
When I wrote the second book, he did all the values. I wanted to thank him in the book, but he said no. We emailed each other all the time and spoke on the phone often. I would kid him about his OG responses.
Some people think I am an expert on gas pumps, but true fully, Dick forgot more that I have ever learned, we are going to miss him here on OG.
Wow, this is sad news. Prayer goes out to Dick's family, friends and all who are touched by his passing. He sold me a 24 inch adjustable wrench. It has come in handy many times and I always think of him when I use it.
May our lives glorify God,
It has the option to add comments to the guest book.
Thanks for posting the link
R.I.P. My Condolences and Prayers to his wife .
Hi--Sad to hear-- have had many transactions with Dick over the years-With Dicks passing goes knowledge of the hobby that is impossible to replace- Thanks Don
I haven't been on in several days, and thought this must be a joke (one DB probably instigated himself). So deeply saddened that it is true. He was one of the first to offer help when I was new. His course exterior belied how generous he was if you were genuinely interested in learning and preserving. A depth of knowledge was lost that may never be replicated in petroliana collecting. Too soon gone my friend!
Wow!!So sorry to hear of this. My condolences to all affected by this. My computer died a couple of weeks back and I haven't been able to look on here to find the bad news.....Dale
OMG! I happened to be talking with Hotcidr this evening and he told me the news about DB. What a tremendous loss as a friend and an asset to this hobby. I can't imagine Old Gas ever being the same without his candid perspective especially when it comes to repops but I'll especially miss his wiliness to help anybody solve a problem or give advise on a petro issue.
Rest in Peace my friend. Our prayers are with you and your family. God Bless.
Thanks for calling tonight, Rob. I'm a bit tongue-tied at the moment. He helped me a lot when I was active in the hobby. I did a couple of pieces for him. I also managed to see parts of the Santa Paula Airport with Dick which I enjoyed. My best to Judy. I know she will be busy and dealing with a lot. Talk soon. Dave Folck
Life and business have kept me off the list--just checking in once in a blue moon--and then I saw this. DB was one of the first to reach out and help me when I joined this list. I got him right away because he reminded me of some of my fellow animal caretakers I worked with at USDA, who by trying to get your goat, were really telling you they liked you enough to tease you. I hope I gave it back as well as I got it.
Reading all these messages just reinforces what some of us saw under that rough exterior, what a kind and generous man he could be. Judy, my husband Bob and I send you our deepest condolences...
Description: DB's weasel oil can (apparently the rated G version) part of my very small collection--in our living room
Being a newbie here, my interactions with Mr. Bennett were few, but was able to see through his grumpy curmudgeon-like personna (:-)) to appreciate his dry sense of humor and wit.
May God bless and comfort his family...
I enjoyed meeting DB and Gas Pump Rob in person at Iowa Gas 2003
Thanks Doug. I hope that you and Mary Ann are well. As I am no longer allowed to visit here on Oldgas, so I sent a Facebook request. I'll see you there...
Doug, if you will message me at email@example.com, I have something to share with you . E-
this guy was one that helped me the most when i was making the cast /ialander parts -gooseneck,bases,feet !! i had not talked to him in awhile BUT he always insisted THAT I START MAKING THE PARTS AGAIN! I GUESS THE tIME HAS COME ,I WILL DO SOME PARTS !! ---RIP my good friend ! hope we all see you on the other side some day ! mike wahl
I haven't logged on in a while and just happened to see an old post about DB passing. I just can't hardly believe it!
We spoke a few times on the phone, but I only had the pleasure of meeting him once in person at Iowa Gas 2013. I'll never forget him rolling those oranges to me from clear across the parking lot. You will definitely be missed db!
Judy Bennett sent me the following note to share with all of you.
"I appreciate your generosity. It has truely overwhelmed me. Thank You!
It has taken me a while to read all the Web site thoughts and condolences as I cry so much. These wonderful people all got it right! Dick had many sides to his personality. Warm and loving, charming and compassionate, and very passionate. It didn't matter if it was with family and friends, or his hobby of everything old gas.
I read that Dick was a grumpy old man. He could be, but more than that, he loved a good debate! Dick respected those who could take criticism and would stand up to him. I'm a true red head, and Dick was a grumpy old man (booger) and we got along just fine!
A few asked about Dick's service days. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1969 to 1971. He was on a minesweeper for over 2 years with the last 8 months in Vietnam. To honor my husband, I placed him in the Arvin National Cemetary in California with full armed guard services. It was a beautiful day there.
We met in 1975. I was 18 and a half years old. Dick was the love of my life for over 39 years. We were married in 1976. As I'm not a computer person, could you pass along this note to those interested? My sincere thanks for everyone that made donations in honor of Dick. From my heart, I will always be grateful.
Thanks, Judy for the note and for sharing Dick with us all these years. Great to know that he got so much enjoyment out of all the stuff happening here on Oldgas.com. Thanks also for the kind words for me in your other note.