Ben’s story began on July 29, 1945 in Bakersfield, CA, and ended in the city he called “home”, Spokane, WA, on May 10, 2021. Ben grew up in the home his parents, Maynard and Rae, built along with his younger brother Tracy. Summers were spent at their cabin on Greenhorn Mountain which became a gathering place for extended family. Horseshoes, cribbage, poker games, hiking, chopping wood and sitting in front of the outdoor fireplace made for fond memories. He graduated from Bakersfield High School and went on to graduate from San Jose State University— the first in his family to earn a college degree. Ben taught junior high math and science for seven years before joining the California Teachers Association as field staff and Executive Director of the Napa-Solano Education Council until taking early retirement in 2000. He was a lifelong proponent of education and improving the working conditions of teachers. It was through his work that he eventually met his wife, the love of his life and soulmate, Lynne Huddleston. Together they combined hearts and families and built a life for 30 years filled with love, laughter and many adventures.
Ben and Lynne began their married life in Benicia, CA, then took jobs and lived in Canterbury, England before finally settling in Spokane. Together they explored 4 continents, 25 countries and 35 States. Ben had a passion for landscape design and, at the age of 70, enrolled in the Spokane Community College program to further develop his skills. He enjoyed bicycling, long walks, entertaining, BBQs, discovering local coffee shops, ROMEO gatherings, and was an avid supporter of the Spokane Chiefs, Spokane Indians and the Spokane Symphony. Ben volunteered for several years as a pruner in the lilac garden at Manito Park and was a longtime member of the Friends of Manito.
Ben lived his life with strength, integrity, humor and gratitude. His life’s journey was long and full. He will truly be missed by a large number of people with whom he worked, played, laughed, served and celebrated. Ben was preceded in death by his parents and survived by his devoted wife Lynne and brother Tracy (Ddee). As per Ben’s request, there will be a private remembrance service.
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