March 30, 1970 – August 13, 2018

Richard William Bench of Shafter, California passed away in Bakersfield on August 13, 2018. Born and raised in Taft, Richard graduated from Taft Union High School; he also studied at Taft College and Bakersfield College. He was the former owner and entertainer of Richie Rich Productions. He attended and graduated from T.C.M.I. Bible College and was a teacher, advisor, choir director and bus driver for Teen Challenge in Shafter.

Richard is preceded in death by his mother, Wanda Pierce, his grandparents, several aunts and uncles, and his step-brother, Andy Cooper. Richard is survived by his beloved son Skyler James Bench; his father and step-mother James and Patti Bench; his sister, Laura Vega Shugarts and her husband Ken; and his step-brother Isreal Cooper and wife, Tina. He is also survived by AJ Vega, Andre Vega and family, Bailey Vega, and Jordan Shugarts; Lucas and Kylee Cooper; Sue Hester, John and Alice Bench, Ervin and Donna Bench, Della Bench, Roxie Kinsman, Lola Bench, RL Melton, Peggy and Richard Smith and family, Roxie Voliva, Wondel and Barbara Pierce, and many nieces, nephews, cousins, extended family, and loving friends.

Funeral services are scheduled for Friday, August 17, 9:00 am at Erickson & Brown Funeral Home 501 Lucard St. With a comital to follow at the West Side District Cemetery 440 E. Cedar St., Taft at 10:00 am. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that any donations to please be made in his name to Teen Challenge, 301 Roberts Ln., Bakersfield, CA 93308.