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Benjamin Eugene Beichner, age 70 of Shippenville, passed away peacefully surrounded by his favorite people Saturday evening, January 27, 2024.
He was born to the late Albert “Popeye” and Matilda “Tillie” Beichner on February 23, 1953. He was the sixth of 11 children, but he was the last one born at their homestead near Fryburg. Despite coming from a small farm, everyone knew or knew of “Ben Beichner” or “Benny Beichner”. He was almost bigger than life itself and has touched so many hearts in ways that many people will never know.
Out of high school, he married his high school sweetheart, Sandy, on December 2, 1972, and had three kids, Jennifer, Adam and Jason. He got off the farm to be a lumberjack. Life wasn’t easy, but he worked an insane amount of hours to provide for his family. He started building his house in 1979 and each kid can remember pounding nails. He didn’t want an average house. He wanted a house where his kids, and eventually his grandkids, could enjoy their childhood. He literally built his house around a full-size rectangular trampoline so that he could hear the joy from his children. Kids from all over the area have had sleepovers on that trampoline. He also enjoyed riding his unicycle around that trampoline. And when he went to the school for his kids’ events, Ben could be found walking into the school on his hands. He was the coolest dad at the school and will forever be a “kid-at-heart”.
His caring heart didn’t stop with just his kids. Both Ben and Sandy stepped up when Josh, Nick and Zach needed them. They became their “mom and dad” and provided for these three boys the best they could, especially with love.
In 1989, he broke his back cutting down trees, but that never stopped him. He continued to work driving log truck up until the week before he passed, and no one could operate that cherry picker like Ben. He also planted fields of corn and potatoes, had the best blueberry orchard in the area, fishing ponds, dirt bikes, and three and four-wheelers. All his kids were riding by the age of four and still love everything their dad taught them.
He was also very caring. If he drove past a home with a tree fallen on it, he would stop and offer his help. He cared for everyone that he came into contact with. Even strangers stranded along the highway would end up at his house eating dinner while he was getting their vehicle fixed. And then send them on their way with gas money. Another caring act was his well-known saying, “Good morning, beautiful.” He wanted everyone he came into contact with to feel special and appreciated.
In 2002, Ben’s world changed when Kaysandra was born and he became a Papa. When he held his first grandbaby, that’s when it was ok for the world to see him cry. He was also blessed with Joelle, Ashley (Sam McClaine), their kids, Kaylee and Evan, and Bradley Kaltenbach (Adam and Kathy’s kids), Tristan (Jen and Todd’s son), Izabelle and Ethan (Josh and Mindy’s kids), Lil Nick and Bennett (Nick and Krystal’s kids) and Taylor and Tanner (Zachary and Kereana’s kids). Everyone knew how much he loved his grandchildren. His favorite gifts were hats with their pictures on them. He let the world know how proud he was of his family and he would always tell them “I love you more than you’ll ever know”.
Ben is survived by his wife of 51 years, Sandra Shanafelt Beichner, his three kids; Jennifer (Todd) Weilacher of Driggs, ID, Adam (Kathy) of Shippenville, and Jason of Shippenville, along with Joshua (Mindy) Beichner, Nicholas (Krystal) Beichner and Zachary (Kereana) Beichner.
He is survived by siblings, Judy (Joseph) Crate and Sara Jane (Slugger) Wagner, of Venus; Velma Jean (Lynn) Young of Brookville, Ronald (Esther) Beichner of Georgia, Anthony “Tim” (Cindy) Beichner and Floyd Beichner, of Knox, and many, many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Albert and Matilda Beichner and his siblings, Don, Michael, David and Jeffrey.
Family and friends will be received from 2-4 & 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, January 31, 2024 at the William N. Rupert Mortuary, Inc., 430 Mendenhall Avenue, Knox.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m., Thursday, February 1, 2024, in the funeral home with Reverend Wade Barto officiating.
Interment will follow in the Perry Chapel Cemetery in Elk Township.
Online condolences may be sent to Ben’s family at www.rupertfuneralhomes.com