Bernabe (Ben) Dominguez, 95, drew his last breath and passed away peacefully at his home on Saturday, April 30, 2022. He was born in Valdez, Colorado, to Rose and Atanasio Dominguez, and joined four sisters: Ramona Jenny, Frances and Agnes. The son of a coal miner, he grew up in Valdez, Colorado. The family moved to Los Angeles, California in 1944 and he was drafted into the war effort and entered the service on his 17th birthday. He faithfully served in the US Army from January 11, 1945 and left Naha, Japan December 26, 1946. He always remembered waiting on a transport ship in Okinawa, expecting to face hand to hand combat in Japan, when they received word the atomic bomb had been dropped in Hiroshima, August 6, 1945 and Nagasaki, August 9, 1945, bringing an end to WWII. He always felt that the atom bomb saved his life. He reenlisted in the Army of the United States during peacetime from December 1946 to 1949, when he received training as a machinist.
Ben worked for the Regents of the University of California (prime contractors of the Atomic Energy Commission), and later applied for work in Los Alamos. After he passed the rigorous security clearance, he began his lifelong career with the Atomic Energy Commission, later known as the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory. Ben was an incredible inventor and machinist. He worked as a lab technician and electronics technician and created three-tiered magnifying glasses for his work in the forefront of fiber optics. He was also part of the testing team of atmospheric nuclear weapons. He loved his job and enjoyed getting to go to work every day to explore and invent. In the last year of testing in Eniwetok, Marianas Islands, he was contaminated with fall-out.
He married in 1950, and for 25 years they raised four children, then divorced. Ben is survived by three adult children and is a Gold Star Father because his eldest son died in the US Army in Korea. He was also a grandfather and great-grandfather. He was devoted to his family and will be fondly remembered.
Ben was highly intelligent, and he enjoyed interesting and stimulating conversations even until his death.
His hobbies included but were not limited to deer and elk hunting with a bow and arrow, camping and fishing. In later years, Ben thoroughly enjoyed collecting wildlife and scientific documentaries and magazines, creating a huge library.
Ben was married a 2nd time for about 20 years. He loved creating musical playlists for line dancing and assisted his wife in teaching line dancing techniques. He even enjoyed dancing into his 90's and was the inveterate life of the party!
Ben also enjoyed participation as a lifetime member of the American Legion as well as the VFW and was Post Senior Vice Commander from 1974 to 1975. In his later years, Ben thoroughly enjoyed being active in the Paradise Hills Senior Center, where he made many more friends.
Through Professional Case Management for the Cold War Veterans, Ben benefited immensely from their excellent professional and compassionate care for almost 5 years, until his passing. He will be remembered by many for his integrity, intellect, and kindness.
The family viewing for Ben Dominguez is scheduled on Tuesday, May 10, 2022, 5:00 p.m., and Rosary 6:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. at FRENCH-Westside. Mass will be on Wednesday, May 11, 2022, 10:00 a.m., at St. Jude Thaddeus Catholic Church, 5712 Paradise Blvd NW. The burial will be the following month, on June 14, 2022, 9:45 a.m., at Santa Fe National Cemetery. The Rosary will be available to view in real-time through the link below.
To send flowers to Bernabe's family, please visit our floral store.