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Bert Beneville, Gig Harbor's Longtime Santa Claus, Dies at 72

One of the city's brightest personalities, he volunteered with countless organizations around Gig Harbor. He died Feb. 18.

Came across this sad news on gigharborguide.com's Facebook page today:

I am very sad to hear the news today about the passing of Bert Beneville. Bert has served as our official Santa Claus the entire time I have been doing this job. He was a wonderful man and he will be missed. See his obituary here - please note funeral is SATURDAY not Sunday as indicated.

For information on services and to read Bert's obituary, click here.

Beneville spent some two decades in Gig Harbor, working with countless organizations and rising to the rank of Lieutenant as a volunteer firefighter and EMT with the Gig Harbor Fire Department, among his other accomplishments.

And Beneville was the face behind Santa Claus' beard during the city's holiday festivities. In fact, we got video of him two years ago during the city's tree-lighting.

Thanks, Bert. You will be greatly missed.

What are your favorite memories of Bert, Gig Harbor Patch users? Did you or your children talk to him when he was Santa Claus? Did you take photos with him? Tell us in the comments and share your photos by clicking "Upload Photos and Videos" under the media gallery.

Akiko Oda February 26, 2013 at 08:58 PM
I took this photo of Bert when I ran into him at Skansie Brothers Park on the same day as the tree lighting in 2010. He told he was the Santa Claus and came to the park to preview the tree before suiting up. RIP Bert.
David Cover February 27, 2013 at 02:51 AM
I knew Bert from as a Past commodore of the Gig harbor yacht club. His sense of humor and quick wit always made me smile. He will be missed.
Paul Berlin February 27, 2013 at 03:15 PM
Bert was always willing to respond at all hours to people in need as a volunteer firefighter. I enjoyed working with him for all those years. While on the fire department, Bert could be counted on to respond an equipment truck to fire calls so many of us referred to it as "Bert's" truck. RIP

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