In Memoriam, Ben Suddard

For years, whenever I pulled my refrigerator out to clean the coils and scrub away the grime that had grown under it, Ben would knock on the door – an instance of synchronicity the universe created not because it was of great significance, but because it was funny. Ben’s knack for laughing at life’s quirkiness turned those many encounters into fond memories.

Ben could tell a good story. Whether it was about his childhood, how he met his wife, Lena, or the many adventures he had on Buzzard’s Bay and ski slopes, Ben shared the people and events of his life with a light touch. The humor in his tales was never at someone else’s expense.

My son, Jared, learned to walk at his beach house because he and his wife let us stay there for the first month we lived in Wareham. He brought several of my relatives out on the water to see his oyster farm; he brought oysters and patience to a couple dozen preschoolers as part of a summer program; he and his father built the benches and planters in the public library’s learning garden – a gift of skill and beauty that makes life in Wareham a little bit richer.

Today, Ben left this life he loved. He leaves behind a loving family and good friends. He returns to God sooner than I’d imagined or hoped. Thank you, Ben, for sharing your life with me and my family. What a precious gift you’ve been to me and mine. And to the world.

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