I was in High School (at the GCS "new school") in 1975 when Dr. Ben came on board as Elementary School Principal. So I did not get to experience his love and compassion for his students right away.
But I did witness it really, every day. Because every morning, without fail, he was there to greet each and every child (by name, with a hug) when the busses unloaded.
This could not go unnoticed. And made an impression on me, even in my teenage angst-ridden years.
Think about it.
This is what impresses me most about this man:
He knew all of the student’s names. Without fail. All their siblings names. Their parent's names. ALL their names.
And he could relate to and reach out to and have the deepest love and compassion and caring for each and every one of them.
Every day. Without fail.
I was blessed to have witnessed this again, almost 40 years later, when all five of my children experienced this incredible non-stop love, support and compassion at the St. Agnes School in Avon, over an eleven year period.
Every day. Every morning. Hour after hour, he was there with an open heart and did things to help our family that I cannot ever hope to repay, except to try and live up to his extraordinary example.
Each of my children were blessed beyond measure to have had this man in their lives. Each went on to advanced placement in Middle School thanks to the teachers at St. Agnes School, and thanks in large part to this remarkable man, who made it his business to make sure that all five of them continued at the school, even when it seemed a hopeless proposition due to financial hardship. He always found a way.
And it wasn't just school.
He was family.
Often stopping by for dinner or a drink. Sharing his love and support. Helping us in ways that can never be repaid.
He was family.
This is a loss that cannot be measured or quantified or summed up in any obituary or newspaper article.
I love you Dr. Ben. Always.