Monday, December 14, 2009

Ben - the coffee guy

On Saturday one of my friends, Ben, died suddenly. I am going to miss him. I was first introduced to him as the coffee guy for Christian Growth Class. Every week Ben would come to class and make coffee and arrange snacks. He did this for years (I often wonder if he attended Christian Growth Class more times than I have). Ben also taught Sunday school for many years (where he would often bring snacks).
Over the past couple of years (ever since he retired) Ben was a part of the church coffee break (as staff at the church we have coffee every day at 10 and 3 and people in the community are invited to join us). He would come several times a week and would always make coffee and bring snacks - cookies, oranges, home baked goods.
I will miss talking with him and hearing him laugh and watching him and Bill give each other a hard time. I am going to even miss Ben's stubborn streak.
Ben was part of our community and this Christmas season we grieve his death.


Sister C said...

I too knew him because he was almost always at the coffee table at church when I came, he'd have already made coffee and was waiting for others to arrive. We really took him for granted. He always brought food. I remember when Marv found out he had diabetes and the other pastors where watching their weight he started bringing fruit instead of sweets because it was what you guys would eat. One things for sure, Ben won't be lonely anymore, but we'll be missing him.

Gerald Barkman said...

I got to know Ben from our trips to Stony Mountain, where Ben visited an inmate at the Rockwood Institution. Ben enjoyed those visits. He connected with the fellow he visited. It always scared me when he would share about so many guys he would meet in Rockwood, guys he knew from his working life in Winnipeg. He knew people. He remembered stories. He told stories. Like his years with the yacht club in Kenora.....Or running the machine shop at Bristol Aerospace. Or getting to know the rich and famous in Winnipeg... He was smart. He would sometimes buy our supper.... we would have the greasy Baconator, he had the healthy stuff. Like I said, he was smart. He had a good head on his shoulders. He cared about the people he loved. He had a stubborn streak that was fun, he didn't like too many unknowns in life, he wanted both feet grounded well.

Ben just started visiting a new fellow at Rockwood. They got along very well. I was told their corner was filled with laughter the whole evening.

I will miss Ben. His visits to my shop are complete. His fellowship on our trips...... thanks Ben, for contributing into my life.

Rhonda said...

Ben invested time in my kids lives teaching Sunday school, moving up the grades with them and for that I will be forever grateful. He was to the point, called a spade a spade and you knew where you stood with him. Yes, he was stubborn but it seemed that determination was what kept him going. I'm going to miss his singing behind me in church as he often sat right behind our family....but if Jesus' birth is celebrated in heaven as it is here on earth, doesn't he have the best Christmas gathering plans ever?

Ben said...

I just came from Ben's funeral. A comment that stood out to me. One of his Sunday school students said, "He looks gruff, but he has soft eyes."
And in memory of Ben his Sunday school class provided Pepsi and popcorn for the reception. Apparently Ben always brought Pepsi and popcorn to class.

Dolores said...

Ben did not show up early this afternoon to get the bulletins ready for the rest of the folders when they would arrive. And Ben was not here this afternoon to help fold bulletins. One week ago he was here. He made the trek back & forth to get more bulletins as they were being printed. Today he was not here to do that. Ben always had the coffee and tea ready as soon as the bulletins were folded. Today he did not. I got my Christmas card from him this week - he had the neatest handwriting. Why do we take someone so for granted when they are with us? Did I ever say thank you for the many times he made coffee, helped stuff mailboxes, fold countless bulletins? Thank you Ben - I could always count on you being here - I know you will have the very bestest Christmas ever!