There are few things in life that are more closely choreographed or cared about by our Heavenly Parents than the circumstances and timing of our entry and exit from mortality. Ben was born during a raging spring blizzard so strong that his mother had to be taken to town on the milk truck along with the morning’s milk. In contrast, his passing was quiet, unattended and simple.
Early on January 4th, Ben died peacefully in his sleep of a heart attack, resting on his favorite pillow and tucked beneath his favorite blanket, both gifts from his children. He was parked in a location where he had long-time friends who found and cared for him. We are grateful for their kindness and compassion.
Ben was an inconspicuous Samaritan, helping others without hesitating. He spent his last Christmas day helping others on the side of the road, and his last evening helping repair another’s truck. He never boasted and rarely spoke of what he so casually did, but those who know him well could easily share stories of the many people he helped over the years.
In his soul, Ben was a farmer -- a man deeply connected to the soil. He was happiest when plowing fields, hauling bales, watering and cutting grain. Life and choice, however, change a life, and he spent his last decades trucking – in between returning to help on the family farm any time he was able. He always hoped to return and stay on the farm and was close to achieving that dream when taken too soon.
His sudden departure is a reminder to us all not to take tomorrow for granted. If there are words that need to be spoken, wrongs to be righted, or hearts to be mended, today is all that we will ever have.
Ben was preceded in death by his mother, Phyllis Zohner, his father, Alfred Kaufman, his sister Garlene (Shappart), and his faithful friend Lucky Dog. He leaves behind his beloved family -- his siblings: Warren (Tina) Kaufman, Ardell (Stacy) Kaufman, and Julie Kaufman; as well as his best friend and former wife, Margaret (Hibbard) Kaufman, and their children: Benjamin (Summer) Kaufman, Kristin (Tavis) Buys, and Daniel Kaufman. In addition, he leaves behind 5 precious grandchildren: Emma, Benson, Logan, and Hudson Kaufman; and Milo Buys.
A graveside ceremony and burial will take place on January 11, 2021 at 11 am at the Pratt Cemetery in Alta, WY.
In lieu of flowers, we would ask for you to do two things in his memory:
1. Find a way to “pay something forward” as he so often did: leave an outrageous tip, help a stranded car, honk your horn for the kid pumping his arm, or tame an orphaned badger for a pet.
2. We would love to compile a book of memories for his young grandchildren. There exists no written record of his life. Please take some time to write some of your favorite memories and send them to firstname.lastname@example.org , if you would like to receive a compilation of these memories, please indicate in your e-mail.