Benjamin Harry Boxum, age 91, went to be with Jesus on Monday, March 3, 2014. He had been living at the Christian Health Care Center since May 2013.
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Ben was born at home in Jewell County, Kansas, on April 22, 1922, to Harry and Bertha Boxum.
He married Elizabeth (Betty), who preceded him in death five short months ago on September 27, 2013.
Just prior to Betty's passing, they had celebrated 70 years of marriage on September 8.
Ben had a passion for education. His first teaching job was in a one-room country schoolhouse in Kansas. His young teaching career was interrupted by World War II. After serving in the Army Air Corps, he returned to Kansas, teaching in elementary schools while pursuing his bachelor's and master's degrees in state colleges.
Ben felt called to Christian education. Encouraged by his pastor at Dispatch Christian Reformed Church, he applied for and was accepted at Sumas Christian School as teacher/principal. This opportunity, as well as having two brothers (Albert, Ed and their families) in Washington State, drew him to take his young family to the Pacific Northwest. After three years in Sumas, he relocated to Lynden Christian School, where he taught, coached and later served as superintendent.
Even following his retirement in 1987, Ben continued to served as a Christian educator. He served as an interim principal at Orange City Christian, and later at Sioux Center Christian schools in Iowa.
At family gatherings Ben and his brothers, Albert and Ed, would keep everyone entertained with their Kansas stories. Laughter was a given. The stories he told gave all who listened a window into the heart and soul of who he was.
Ben was a teacher, author and orator. He was a man of prayer and deep humility, spending much time in the Word. He was blessed with the gift of contentment and a love for simple things: homemade ice cream, nature, Shagren's draft horses across from 8807 Benson Rd., books, poetry, gardening, Betty's pies and Andy Griffith. Ben adored his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He loved people and he and Betty often had after-church coffee guests. His capacity to joyfully embrace life was matched with a tenderness when sadness came to the lives of others.
We thank God for the gift of Dad's presence in our lives.
Ben is survived by his four children and their spouses: Vivian (Marlo) Covey, Steve (Carolyn) Boxum, Von (Greg) Geleynse and David (Peggy) Boxum. Ben also had 12 grandchildren: Mike (Jackie), Mark (Emily), Matthew (Charissa), Tim (Tracy) and Jon (Kelsey) Covey, Tara (Nathen) Storness-Bliss, Joel (Michelle) Boxum and Ian Boxum, Jesse and Dana Geleynse and Autumn and Anna Boxum; as well as 13 great-grandchildren: Brady, Rachel and Addison Covey, Kendra, Carson and Kali Covey, Quin, Charles and Marlowe Covey, Hattie and Benson Covey and Serenity Storness-Bliss; as well as many beloved nieces and nephews.
The family thanks the Christian Health Care Center for their compassionate care and devotion to Dad. We also thank the Bethel CRC family that loved, supported and ministered to Dad in so many ways.
Memorials are suggested to Lynden Christian Schools, 417 Lyncs Dr., Lynden, WA 98264; or Christian Health Care Center, 855 Aaron Dr., Lynden, WA 98264.
Services were under the direction of Moles Funeral Home/Lynden. You may share your thoughts and memories of Ben at www.farewelltributes.com.
Moles Farewell Tributes-Lynden
1907 Front Street Lynden, WA 98264
Published in Skagit Valley Herald Publishing Company on Mar. 25, 2014