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Ben Davidson
Ben Davidson (Associated Press/Ernest Bennett)

Ben Davidson

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November 20, 2017
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November 20, 2017
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September 13, 2012
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
September 12, 2012
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!
September 12, 2012
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.
September 02, 2012
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!
August 07, 2012
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.
July 25, 2012
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.
July 25, 2012
Mr Zach,

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.
July 23, 2012
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.
Fondly,
Lee Zachariades (Zach)
July 18, 2012
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.
July 12, 2012
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.

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