Ben S. Bledsoe passed into God’s hands Wednesday, March 5, 2014, in Anza, California, at the age of 92. Born May 11, 1921, in Helendale, California, to Bertie and James Bledsoe, Ben lived his young life on a sprawling ranch in San Bernardino riding horses and driving cattle with his younger brother James, Jr.
Ben’s father came to California from Texas as a babe in arms on a covered wagon and his mom was a mail-order bride from Georgia. His father passed when Ben was 7 and Bertie supported her family working as a school custodian.
At the age of 18, Ben joined the U.S. Army and served his country proudly in World War II. He spent years in Europe, receiving a Purple Heart, 3 Bronze Stars, and a Good Conduct Medal. After being honorably discharged, Ben spent the next 31 years working as a civilian technician for the U.S. Air Force.
Ben moved to Anza in 1972 with his wife Margie. They settled into the community and Ben returned to his love of horses and cattle. Some of the best times of his life were spent riding horses with friends and driving cattle on the Cahuilla Reservation. At the age of 80, Ben was still doing round ups, brandings, and chasing
Ben was preceded in death by his wife Margie in 1992, his brother James a few years later, and his beloved horse Tank. Ben leaves many Anza friends and we all lose another proud member of the greatest generation.
A committal service will be held this Friday, March 14, 2014, at Riverside National Cemetery in Riverside, at 1:01 p.m.
At a later date, a memorial will be held for Ben in Anza.