Ben Joseph Riffel was born Feb. 5, 1957. He died March 6, 2018 peacefully in a hospital near his home in Escalon, Calif. After being raised in Hayward, Calif., Benny lived in Escalon on family property for many years.
Benny was an only child. He loved stories and photos of his heritage and large extended family of eight aunts and uncles, and many cousins – especially the Helen Scott boys. His father was Ben Rudolph Riffel (Oct. 11, 1916 – June 24, 2003) and his mother Laura Lee Riffel (Jan. 21, 1914 – June 12, 1999). His father, Ben’s, family moved to California from Kansas in the mid-1930’s – residing in Monrovia with the nine-child Riffel-Bresniker family before building a family-run Chicken Ranch in Hayward. There is a “Riffel Court” in Hayward, established by Benny’s Uncle, Ed. Benny’s paternal grandparents were born in Slovenia, then Austria, before Yugoslavia. Frank Riffel (1883-1930) and Louise Bozic Riffel Bresniker (1895-1982). They immigrated to Kansas in the early 1900’s. Benny’s maternal grandparents are unknown. After serving in the Air Force during WWII, college and a teaching stint in Germany with Laura Lee, father Ben was a career teacher and educational administrator in Hayward. Ben and Laura Lee’s first home, in the mid-50’s, was the “cottage” built by Ben and Uncle Frank on the Hayward Chicken Ranch.
Benny was a standout swimmer in High School. He became a California Highway Patrol Officer. Much of his adult life was spent caring for his parents and managing the family property in Escalon.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Deegan Funeral Chapel. Mass is scheduled for Wednesday, March 14 at 10:30 a.m. at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Escalon. Benny will be buried at the St. John’s Catholic Cemetery after mass alongside his father and mother.
The Escalon (Calif.) Times
March 14, 2018