September 12, 1928 – December 24, 2022
In loving memory ~
Ben died on December 24th after a recent diagnosis of cancer. Ben had an incredible life and even though he was 94 we all felt he had a few more years in him.
Ben was born in Denmark, on September 12th, 1928, to his parents Poul and Josephine. The second of two sons. He was always actively participating in many sports as he grew up. He also joined the Danish navy for a few years.
In 1950 he met a beautiful young woman named Ingeborg when he went to pick up his paycheck from her dad. It was love at first sight. In 1951 Ben, now a machinist fulfilled a lifelong dream and immigrated to Canada, hoping to earn enough money to have Ingeborg join him. He arrived in Vancouver in an unusually snowy November and got his first job shovelling snow for 25 cents a day. Unfortunately, that didn’t last long but he soon got a job at the mine on Texada Island.
A year later he had saved enough money for Ingeborg to join him. They were married in Vancouver on November 7th, 1952. They lived on Texada Island and had four children.
In 1963 they moved to Castlegar when Ben got a job at the Pulp Mill. He started as a Machinist and then went to school in Nelson at night to become a Millwright. He worked at Celgar until his retirement in 1992.
Ben was always a great support to his kids and active with them coaching soccer and figure skating, taking them hiking in the Rockies and making sure everyone’s bike was always in working order. He frequently either rode his bike or ran to work. He completed many marathons, even doing a few as a fundraiser for the Kootenay Columbia Child Care Society.
Upon retiring he took up golfing and curling and became the track setter for the Nordic Ski Club and continued to run and cycle. He was an inspiration to so many people with his activities, doing pushups every morning and always challenging his kids and grandkids that golfed to try to beat him. Very few did. He also had the pleasure of golfing his age and a few holes-in-one.
He became the family favourite at the annual Conroy Horseshoe tournament, having the most wins, and even coming second this year.
Ben was a founding member of the Selkirk Vintners, spending many years tending to the vineyards at Selkirk College as well as making the wine in his famous wine cellar for both the Vintners as well as his own personal wine. He was also an accomplished woodworker, gardener and cook.
He was always a strong supporter of the NDP, helping in every election and became an Honorary Lifetime member in recognition of his dedication.
Ben is predeceased by his wife, Ingeborg, brother Kai and son-in-law Ed Conroy. He is survived by his children Elisabet, Katrine, Thomas (Sandy) and Susanne (Jerry). His 11 grandchildren Thor, Michael (Victoria), Jennifer (Peter), Wyllie (Jayme), Sasha (Kirk), Ben, Samantha, Sydni, Sawyer (Kyle), Amanda and Adam (Jessee); his 15 great-grandchildren Daira, Alexia, Eric, Ryen, Aydenn, Lennon, Kaelin, Moss, Sarah, Sayge, Maverick, Elle, Freya, Karsyn and Poppy.
He also has nieces and nephews in Denmark as well as his best friend Renate Belcyzk, her children Felix, Sandy and Andrea, and their families.
A Celebration of Ben’s life will be held this summer.
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