August 11, 1927 — July 15, 2021
Benetta May Buker passed away on July 15, 2021, at Community Home Health and Hospice in Longview, Wash. She died of natural causes.
Benetta Rice was born August 11, 1927, near Lusk, Wyoming. The Rice family moved to the Castle Rock area in a covered wagon when she was a child, and lived in the Castle Rock/Toutle area her entire life. Benetta Rice married Virgil Ray Buker in Castle Rock on September 2, 1943. Benetta and Virgil were married 55 years and had four children.
As a child, Benetta was given a horse and from that point forward she always had a passion for horses. Over the years she explored the whole Toutle area on horseback as a testament to her belief in curiosity and exploration. Benetta worked alongside her husband on their family’s cattle ranch in Silver Lake for most of her life. She always was herding cattle, riding horses and mending fences. Benetta shared her enthusiasm for country life and her love of animals and the environment by volunteering her time with different organizations. She volunteered with 4-H, the Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service, the Cattleman’s Association and the FFA Advisory Committee.
Benetta was a devout wife, mother and grandmother as well as a loyal friend. She had a quiet, firm faith in God and valued family. Benetta was a nurturing and hard-working woman who exuded kindness, youthfulness and generosity. She loved others well and enjoyed giving bear hugs.
Benetta is preceded in death by her husband, Virgil Buker, and her siblings, Henry Rice and Louretta Turner. Benetta is survived by her sister Cleora Buker; her children Pearl (Charles) Witte, Raymond (Gloria) Buker, Calvin Buker, and Robert (Sue) Buker; her grandchildren Ted Buker, Ben Buker, Daniel Buker, David Buker, Mark Buker, Lynn Wakeman, Chris Witte, Brenden Witte, and Carlin Witte; and by 14 great-grandchildren.
A celebration of Benetta’s life will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 24, 2021, in the Toutle Lake School multipurpose room. There will be a potluck meal immediately following the service. Memorials can be sent to the Castle Rock Toutle Lake FFA Alumni at Fibre Federal Credit Union.