Ben Daltoso

1933 - 2013

Ben Daltoso, 79, of Walla Walla died February 6, 2013, from complications
of lung cancer, at Providence St. Mary Medical Center, surrounded by his loving
family. He was born on March 18, 1933, in Walla Walla to Mario and Maria Saoncella
Daltoso. He attended St. Patrick’s Catholic Grade and High School
and graduated in 1951. He attended  the University of Portland.
In 1954, he returned to Walla Walla to marry the love of his life, Marguerite
DeLuca. Four months later he was drafted into the army and
was stationed in Orléans, France for two years attaining the rank of
Corporal. Marguerite joined him and their  first daughter was born
there.  They returned to Walla Walla in 1956 where they raised their
six children.  They celebrated their 59th wedding anniversary on
January 24th, 2013.

Ben and Marguerite met when they were introduced by their
parish priest, Fr. Austin. A fter attending college they were married and from the beginning
Ben proved to be an exemplary husband, demonstrating his
devotion to his beautiful Marguerite in multiple small ways. He was
always thoughtful, many times pulling  flowers from his own garden
in order to make his loving bride smile. He never failed to tell her
he loved her and cherished her, and that love became the rock upon
which they built their life. With love for each other, along with unwavering
faith in Christ they were able to build a life that spanned
6 decades, eventually producing 6 children, 15 grandchildren, and
7 great grandchildren.

Ben was employed by Standard Oil for 10 years before going into
farming. He grew a variety of crops for Birdseye and Walla Walla
Cannery, and the Walla Walla Gardner’s Association, however, his
primary crop was Walla Walla Sweet Onions. With the threat of local
processing plants closing, he partnered with Frank Magnaghi
to incorporate D & M Farms. While they grew Sweet Onions together,
Ben was most proud of the bond they had in watching their
families grow up together.  Their partnership lasted throughout the
years as did the friendship of their families. For many years he operated
a roadside stand and later a stand at their home. One of his
great joys was the ability to employ local children, providing them
an opportunity to learn the value of hard work. Ben was a very a
conscientious farmer who was always concerned about the preservation
of the soil, who loved and respected the earth God gave him
and wanted to ensure its use for future generations. He retired from
farming in 2008.

Ben was very active in church, school, and community activities.
He was deeply involved with St. Francis Catholic Church for many
years. He was a Sacristan, Lector, Server, and Eucharistic Minister.
He was a member of the Parish Council and a member of the St.
Francis Rosary Group for over 20 year, exercising his deep devotion
to the Rosary. He enjoyed serving as a member of  the Knights of
Columbus for 60 years. He was the Faithful Navigator of the Fourth
Degree, Knights of Columbus for two years, an one he held with
great honor. He was a strong supporter of Walla Walla Catholic
Schools. Ben was co-chair of the Walla Walla Catholic School
Capital Campaign for St. Francis and was a member of the DeSales
Booster Club. In service of his faith, Ben spent the last 30 years volunteering
his time at St. Mary Medical Center, the last ten of which
were in the Cancer Center. Most recently he served on the Hospital
Service League Board.

In his early years he enjoyed hunting and  fishing, as well as camping
adventures with his family and friends. Ben was an avid bowler
for the Knights of Columbus bowling league for 30 years winning
many awards and trophies also serving as president. He shared a
love of sports with his children and grandchildren and particularly
enjoyed watching Gonzaga basketball and Notre Dame football.
He also liked the Seattle Mariners and Seahawks (when they were
winning). Ben looked forward to watching his own children and
grandchildren participate in their sporting activities. He loved traveling
with his wife, especially trips to visit all members of his family
residing throughout the country. He especially enjoyed exploring
his Italian heritage, most often through his wife’s (southern) Italian
cooking. However, making french toast (northern style) for his
children was his specialty.

Ben had all of the wonderful traits of a devoted husband, father,
grandfather, and great-grandfather: strength, kindness, faith, a great
sense of integrity, and a marvelous sense of humor. He demonstrated
his unwavering love for his wife and family each and every day,
making sure they knew they were taken care of, providing a selfless
example of how to live a good life by serving others. He valued his
Catholic faith, family, and Italian heritage. Ben was an inspiration,
as well as a great role model on how to raise a family, work hard,
treat others, and live in Christ.

Ben is survived by his loving wife Marguerite and his children,
daughters Debbie Biagi (Bob) of Colfax, WA, Lynn Buckley (Jay) of
Walla Walla, Gina Houser ( Doug) of Vancouver, WA, and Michelle
Daltoso of Vancouver, WA, his son Mike Daltoso of Vancouver,
WA. and his daughter-in-law Suzan Daltoso (Mark) of Walla Walla.
He is also survived by two sisters, Stella Hamilton (Bud) of Walla
Walla, Mariann Birmingham (Jack) of Indio, CA, his brother Dante
Daltoso (Mary Lou) of Boardman, OR, numerous grandchildren,
great grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and many relatives in Italy.
He was preceded in death by both his parents, his son Mark,
daughter-in-law Karen Daltoso, and aunts and uncles in Italy.

Viewing and visitation will be held Wednesday, February 13, 2013
from 10:00 AM until a er the Rosary at the Herring Groseclose Funeral
Home, 315 W. Alder, Walla Walla, WA.  e Rosary will be
recited on Wednesday February 13, 2013 at 7:00PM, also at Herring
Funeral Home, with Father Tyler Smedley officiating.  The Funeral
Mass will be celebrated on  Thursday February 14, 2013 at 10:00 AM
at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, 722 W. Alder Street, Walla
Walla, WA. with Father Jeff Core and Father Tyler Smedley Con-
Celebrating. Burial will follow in the Catholic section of Mt. View
Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the Mark S.
Daltoso Scholarship Fund at DeSales High School,
Providence St. Mary Cancer Center, Catholic Charities of Walla Walla,
DeSales Booster Club, or St. Francis Catholic Church
through the funeral home.
Family and Friends are invited to sign the on-line guest book at

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