Dearest Kathy, Vickie and big sisters,
I am so sorry for you all and I apologize that I heard so late of your dad's and husband's passing. You are all so special and such a great family. I hope and pray for you
and I am sending my sincere sympathies.
Much love, Helen McNutt Gentile
Can't believe it's been a year...You are missed deeply.
Kathy, Jan, Dana & Vicky,
My sincere condolences. I just now happened across Ben's notice of passing. I will remember him fondly as a huge presence and a kind and gentle neighbor. I used to live down the street from you in Pleasanton on Neal. I babysat for the girls when they were young. My younger brother Greg was always up at the the house playing with the girls... it was like a sports museum of sorts! I remember a time when my brother came home with one of Ben's autographed footballs the girl's had given him... without asking Ben mind you!! The football was returned as soon as he brought it home...my parents understood the significance but the kids had no idea!! If I remember correctly, Ben gave him a replacement momento to ease the disappointment of having to return the football. I have continued to tell this story over the years and still get a chuckle out of it. I am so sorry for your loss and will always have fond memories of Ben and your entire family
Ben, I'm sure a lot of your fans will remember
your surprise role as the doorman/bouncer in Behind the Green Door. Never got close enough to get your autograph but Marilyn's I did. Rod Umino
got a chance to meet Ben in Las Vegas he was a nice guy and enjoyed talking about the home town once a Mule always a Mule god bless you Ben.
Dear Janella Davidson--
I'm your roommate Martin from 678 Haight Street.
I'm so so very sorry for your loss.
hey jamie! i'm on fb.
janella (jan) davidson
Good Ben, a life spent helping others-been out of touch with the family, but one of the biggest men I have ever met, and one of the sweetest families ever. Kathy I'm sorry I didn't keep in touch, can't seem to get a hold of Jan-will try calling...my condolences-Jamie Mehan
I sincerely send my condolences to each of you. It is my hope and prayers that this letter will encourage each of your hearts. Although I got to thank Ben personally one day years ago in a restaurant in Santa Cruz I wanted you his family to know how Ben changed my life forever.
I was 17 years in prison here in California. My grandfather was a local deputy sheriff and my cousin a local football star. My dad a good man rearing 6 kids four of which were boys as a single parent. When my parents divorced I internalized my anger until at 13 it began to seep out until it got out of control and I, by my choice ended up in prison at 17 serving a Five Years to Life sentence.
Each night I would sit on my bed with a razor in my hand thinking of suicide. How could I have hurt my dad, disgraced my family and been so disrespectful to the small community that had showed love to our family in so many ways? I didn't want to face life and feared I would never change and only hurt people again. I would say over and over, I have no worth and I have no value I deserve to be dead.
Then one day someone in the prison, Deuel Vocational Institution near Tracy, California said, Ben Davidson and Fred Biletnikoff were coming to visit us. I immediately said they were lying. The only person that would come here would have to be sent by a judge. However, when the day came, they came.
I can't recall a single word either of them said. However what I do remember is, I had never seen a person as big a Ben with such a deep voice. I sat there utterly amazed that two Oakland Raider players were in the gym in the prison speaking to over 1,000 guys. It was a life changing day for me.
I returned to my cell and that night my ritual changed. Instead of saying what I had in the past, I began to say, I MUST HAVE WORTH AND I MUST HAVE VALUE IF BEN AND FRED CAME TO VISIT US. Then I said, "If they think I have worth and value then maybe I should begin living like it." And I did.
I began to attend AA and Creative Dynamics. I completed my high school diploma and began to attend church. It took a while but I began to change internally and experience internal peace, something I never had until I surrendered my life to Christ in that prison because Ben and Fred thought I had worth and value.
I was released after serving almost 5 years in prison. I went to college and graduated, then to grad school where I earned a Masters in Marriage, Family and Child Counseling and then earned my doctorate in Leadership. All of this because Ben and Fred took time from their busy schedules to visit a prison to encourage a group of criminals who society had given up on.
May theses few words of tremendous gratitude encourage you and you experience the loss of a great man whose life will never be forgotten by me and my clan. God bless each of you and for you I am praying. - Dr. Samuel M. Huddleston, Author, Five Years to Life
Ben's affect is endless, as even after he is gone, anyone who knew him has learned the beauty of kindness and humbleness by his example. Many people did not know how famous Ben was until the dozens of speakers at the celebration told of his many adventures, accomplishments and good deeds.
I had a lovely plane ride home with Dana and hope to see more of you Davidson's in the future!
Ben was my cousin. I will always remember him. Every time I see him on a movie I reflect on seeing him in Hollywood after attending a church his uncle pastored in North Hollywood. It seems Rexor will never be defeated. My mother,Dona was born the same year as Ben. His father is my grandpas brother. Kathy and family have my sincerest sympathy and love. I've thought of you all my whole life. Ben, happy trails. No one will ever dominate battle of the superstars like you! To me you'll always be Big Ben.
Well now, you will have good times to share with your friend Tom as he has come to join you. Motorcycles, sleeping on the side of the road, helping strangers, scaring some by them just looking at the two of you. Shocking others when you not only spoke fluent Spanish but often in their dialect. We can all hear the two of you laughing now and swaping all kinds of stories.
Heres' to two great men. You will be deeply missed. But still a shinning star!
Kathy, and lovely daughters, John and I want you to know how much Ben meant to us in the last few years--and like many others, for years before that when we knew him only as a great NFL player. He gave one of the best impromptu speeches last April at the press conference for our FanForLife campaign. In that deep voice, looking out across the room: "I was raised not to waste anything, and not donating your organs is just wasting them." He embraced our cause as he did us, along with Kathy faithfully showing up to our events, delighting everyone who got to speak with him. He was grand and his passing leaves a big hole for all of us. We were all lucky to have him for the time we did. Our thoughts and prayers have been with you.
Ben Davidson was a great man because he was always interested in listening to others and was very humble for accomplishing so much. I proud to have known him.
We were so honored to see your special words about my dad. You also had a huge impact on Janella and I. 5th grade for me was the most memorable time in my school, mostly due to your positive influence. In fact, I named my second son after you- he is Cabel Zach Davidson- and what a gem he is! Thank you and please come visit us on San Diego sometime.
Dear Kathy and Lovely Ladies,
I was extremely upset and greatly saddened by the passing of Big Ben. As a teacher in Pleasanton, Ben helped to formulate me as a person. I cannot list what you and Ben have done for my class and me. Some of these included building a loft in the middle of classroom, working our Halloween ghost house in constructing props and scaring the crowd. Driving to trade meets, supporting me when my first wife was killed by a drunk driver.
You guys were the best and Ben's Spirit and character will always be a part of me and those I come in contact with.
The best to you and the girls and thanks to all of you for allowing me to know Ben Davidson.
Lee Zachariades (Zach)
Thank you all for the kind words and lovely memories of my dad. It gives my mom and my sisters and i a great deal of comfort to know that my dad touched so many people over the years. I always knew he was special to me, but now I see what an amazing impact he had on others as well. We've enjoyed hearing stories from old friends in Pleasanton, team mates from AAU swimming, my parents' college friends or football fans my dad met over the years. I bet my dad is looking down on all this wondering what the fuss is. The day before he died, he told my uncle Frank and I, "you know, it's been a good ride" referring to his life. I know that he had no regrets- he traveled well, ate well, laughed often, loved many and gave generously with his time, money and friendship.
So many memories of him making an ackward swim kid feel good about herself. Fondly remember him singing "short people" to me, while teaching all of us girls how to coast down the Dublin grade to save gas in his "collectible" VW truck. Miss all of you dearly, Ben and your family were an important part of my childhood.
My prayers are with all of you.
It's a sad loss. He was always my favorite player--I always tell the young guys I work with they don't know what they were missing. Now part of that world is gone. Even though I was a Baltimore Colts fan, we'll all miss ya Ben.
Rest in Peace as you are the Brightest Star in the Heavens now.
Kathy and family,
So very sorry to read of Ben's passing. I didn't get to meet Ben, but mom thought he was the greatest when she met him at your house in Skyway. After learning of your marriage I became an avid Raiders fan and my family refused to take me to a Raiders/KC game as they knew I would cheer for Ben and the Raiders. My sympathy to you and your family.
Ben Davidson called me on my 11th birthday and then followed up with a postcard from the 1964 World Fair. He was an unknown rookie on the Green Bay Packers responding to a letter from a kid. I've always thought I may have been his first big fan and always wanted to tell him how that was appreciated. Thanks Ben. Rest in Peace. PS....I still have the postcard.
One of my favorite players from the "good ol days". Very nice man away from the field. Will be missed!!
RIP Ben you were a good man ,and a gre
at football player
Ben Davidson Family:
I am sorry for your loss. May our Heavenly Father Jehovah be of comfort during this time of grief.
I met Ben in a Waffle House near the Johnson Space Center. He and several other celebrities had their lemo parked out front. They were down in the Clear Lake area promoting a boat race over the weekend. He was the most cordial of the bunch! He saw my NASA badge and we were in the middle of an Apollo mission. He wanted to talk all about the space program and I wanted to talk football! So sad to hear the news about his passing. I truly believe he was a "gentle man", kind hearted and sincere. I wish time would have allowed us to talk longer. God be with his family and the many friends mourning his death.
Walked and chatted a bit with him during a march of dimes walkathon in Alameda. (1970?) He was such a nice man. Sorry to hear of his passing. My condolences to his family.
Thank you for sharing a part of your life with us.
We will never forget Ben, and we send our deepest sympathies to his family. he was a great man and Bigger than Life in his heart and his size! Our Love and Prayers. Joan & Bill Speckin
Ben was one of the best, he will be missed. My love and prayers to his family. His picture hangs proadly in my office.
Praying for Ben's family and friends. My dad Ray Davidson talks about when they were boys. He will be missed!
My mom Betty Jean Paschall always spoke so highly of BIG BEN, her first cousin. Prayers for your family. May God comfort them in this time of need.
With Love and Preyers for all who is saddened by our loss. I have been a faithful RAIDER fan forever, I lived in the Bay area and attended all the games, with much pleasure, we frequented Big Ben's, met many Raiders, had loads of fun when they were the Real Bad Boys, once a Raider fan nothing else is good enough. You have many good memories to reflect on, what a guy. Another Raider Nation Angel, Ben fought the good fight. Love you. Go well with God.Thanks for the memories.
May the peace God's promise offers help to ease your grief today.
And may He always be beside you as you go along life's way.
With Deepest Sympathy,
Green, L.-West P. Bch., FLA 33407
My prayers are with your family. I remember your great NFL career and am sure you carried that greatness to other areas of your life. A fan in TX
Dear Kathy and Family I was so sorry to hear of Ben passing away.. Once a Raider always a Raider and Ben was a great member of our family. Tuff on the field but a gentle giant off. I will miss him and the good times I had with him. My prayers are with you
Kathy and Family, My deepest sympathy and condolence. I will always be a better person having known "Big Ben" through our extended Miller Lite All-Star Family. His generosity was as famous as his "handlebars" I know he lived life to its fullest and was an inspiration to millions, especially me!
Dear Kathy & family,
So sorry to hear of Ben's passing..We would like to extend our sympathies to you and your family..We met on the tour of China (Viking River Cruises)We spent alot of time on our tour bus together. I have a great pic of Ben being stared at by a group of women who were astounded at Ben's ht. and talking among themselves..
I was a big fan of Ben Davidson when he played for the Raiders. I even grew a handlebar moustache in admiration of him.
RIP Ben, you shall always be remembered.
Dear Kathy, I'll best remember the beginning: your beauty, the chapel, my lavendar dress, your Lake Washington house (not Ben's Lake Union one; my mom cooking him bacon+ 12 eggs in Billings when he visited for a charitable promotion in MT. SO MUCH! I've always loved you & family. We'll talk soon ASAP. Love and comfort, Barb
Kathy, So sorry to hear about Ben's passing. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your daughters.
To the the family of Ben Davidson - May God give you peace and comfort through his word and the Lord Jesus Christ during this time of sorrow, I know that he will be missed by many.
To the family of Ben Davidson: I was saddened and shocked to hear of Ben's death. I met him in the late 70's. Such a nice man, gentleman, kind, funny and so down to earth. He spoke of you often with such love and affection. Kathy, so obvious you were his best friend and to the girls he was so proud of you. My heartfelt sympathies go out to the entire family. It's sad day for so many.
Ben Davidson, Dick Butkus, Ray Nitschke; when Sunday football was our coliseum and some NFL players our gladiators. Sleep well Maximus. Even as a life-long Steeler fan, I saved some tears for you.
A GREAT FOOTBALL PLAYER AND FUNNY GUY!
We Kansas Citians loved ya anyway! My condolences to his family. He was quite a prescence.
I was crushed to hear of Ben's passing. I always enjoyed the times we spent at jazz Fest and your trips to Houston. My thoughts and prayers are with you and the girls
Ben was a in addition to being a great footbll player, a great human being, very compassionate and a delight to be around.
Milton Harrison, Minneapolis, MN
Thanks for all the great football and your contribution to the Greatness Of The Raiders. Your toughness is etched in the annals of the NFL forever. RIP Big Ben.
My favorite Raider! Condolances from TJM of the Atlanta Raider's Fan Club.
The best player of his time
Also comm. Tv shows talented man john 316
The best player in his time!
Rest in Peace Ben- you were one of the greatest defensive ends to play the game! Raider nation was fortunate to have you play there for us. God Bless..
Condolences to the Davidson family, the Raider organization, and a community on your and our loss.
RIP, Mr.Football, Raider Icon. May you find peace and comfort in the Heavenly Division of the Raider Nation.
One hell of a guy
I never tire of watching that play when you drill Len Dawson & it starts a brawl...A true RAIDER legend..God rest your weary soul & may he watch over your family..Al is waiting at the gate to shake your hand..
To Dana and Vicki, this is Lisa Kim, an old friend from Pleasanton. I have so many fond memories of our times hanging out together. I was always kind of afraid of your dad, not because he was mean but because he was so dang big and his voice so deep. I remember a garage full of gatorade. He was amazing man who raised some incredible women along with your mom. My sympathy to you all as I send you love, light and strength. Best always, Lisa
One of my all time favorites. They ain't makin' guys like this anymore. Rest In Peace, Ben.
A one of a kind player - and a wonderful man off the field and in life. But, to disagree with the obit - Ben's most memorable play was when he broke Joe Namath's jaw, not the Len Dawson play. RIP, Ben and prayers and condolences to your family and team mates.
GOOD JOB BEN, REST IN PEACE!
A true gentleman and my friend. I'll miss you Ben. My condolences to Kathy and their girls.
You were a monter on the football field, especially against the Chiefs, but you showed to also be a great guy. Condolensces/Faith/Hope to your friends, colleagues and family.
We all wished it was us on the field watching you play.Thank you for the fun you showed on all your games. Rest in peace Mr. Davidson.
I was fortunate to know Ben and his wife Kathy when I was coaching their daughters Jan, Dana and Vicki at Norcal Swim Club. He was a gentle, loving and caring parent. My condolences to Kathy and the rest of the family.
Ben was one of my all time favorite players, no matter what game was on if Ben & The Raiders were on the field I was watching. The twinkle in the eye and grin on a giant of a man made him a dynamic person and player. Rest easy Ben. My deepest sympathy to Ben's family and friends.
Ben WAS the very personification of Raider football, rough, tough, and over the edge. I join all of Raider Nation in mourning his passing.
God Bless you Big Ben thank you for the memories
The Raider Nation has lost another great one. When you think of a raider Ben defiantly was one. I never saw him play in person, but in film he was an amazing athlete. R.I.P.
My deepest sympathy goes out to Kathy, his wife, and their entire family. Ben did a lot charity work all over the country but I knew him from his work with Muscular Dystrophy Assoc. He was a great man who gave up his personal time to help others. He will be missed by everyone!
When I think of the Raiders, I picture Ben Davidson. He's the reason I loved and excelled at the game. He's probably terrorizing quarterbacks in heaven right now. May he rest in peace.
Thank you for taking time to speak with me at the Special Olympics that were held at Heavenly Ski Resort in South Lake Tahoe. We spoke for almost 2 hours about football and the different people you played with and against during your career. You spoke highly of Archie Manning and several others.
R I P
I am very sorry to hear about the death of a football legend. Ben will be remembered for his skills on the football field. My condolences go out to his family and friends as they go through this difficult time. May the God of comfort and tender mercies bring the family peace at this time. 2 Cor. 1:2,3
Condolences to the Davidson family. I remember him appearing in a special on the Jackson 5 in the early 70s, playing on the "Dream Team" basketball team with Bill Russell and others. He was a true Raider.
God bless you and your family. R.I.P.
I Love Miller Lite. RIP Ben D.
Please accept my condolences. May all of Ben fond memories stay close to your heart. May God bring comfort to your family at this time. Philippians 4:7.Love Ben as a football player
As a life long Raider fan, Ben was truly one of the greatest Raiders! It saddens me that he is gone. My sympathy to the family. He will long live in my Raider memories!
Kathy, Jan, Dana, and Vickie, I'm so sorry to learn of Ben's passing. My you find comfort in each other at this sorrowful time. 1 Thessalonians 5:11
With deepest sympathy to the family during your time of sorrow. Psalms 46:1 says: God is for us a refuge and strength during this difficult time and may God grant you the comfort to endure.
Even as a True Blue New Englander and Pat's Fan I remember the big guy. We have lost a true star.
Take comfort in knowing that now you have a special guardian angel to watch over you.
What A Great Guy, Met Him Years Ago In Pittsburgh Beer Convention Was Such A Nice Man I Will Never Forget. Rest In Peace
With the handlebar mustache he was a "bear" of of figure on the football field. Also, enjoyed him in the movie roles he played. Condolences to family members. Sure George Blanda and other members of Raider family were there to greet him at the "Gates".
NEVER FORGET THIS GUY.......IT WAS LIKE GROWING UP WITH HIM......RIP...BIG BEN
To the DAVIDSON family he was a good football player i was 10 yrs. old when i started watching football and picked the OAKLAND RAIDERS. I wish i was older at that time to go to the games. I went to alot of card shows and got signatures of the older players and Mr. Davidson loved seeing all the people, and he was a gentleman for as big and tough he was on the field. May you R.I.P
One hell of a guy.
One of the best. God Bless the Davidson Family.
I spent many a Sunday watching Oakland playing Kansas City and rooting for Big Ben and the Raiders. My childhood years were filled with memories of some great football and Mr Davidson was a major contributor to those memories. Thank you and may you rest in piece.
R.I.P. May the Perpetual Light Shine Upon Him.
I know for a fact... that Ben was a gentleman. I played golf with him in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in the last 80's. He loved his family. God Bless each and everyone that he left behind, and cared so much about him.
I just hope when you me the All Mighty, that he helps you with your golf game. Football... you had no problem! God Bless you "Big Guy".
R.I.P. Ben The Raiders family has lost a true legend.