God called Ben home.
It is with broken hearts that the Obdeyn family announces the peaceful passing of their beloved husband, father, and Opa. Rhea lost the love of her life. Ben passed away at the Welland Hospital on Tuesday, January 4, 2022 at the age of 85 after a short but courageous battle with brain cancer.
Beloved husband and soul mate of over 60 years to Rhea. Much loved father of Rodney Obdeyn (Kelly), Marilyn Giesbrecht-Obdeyn (the late David), Jeff Obdeyn (Kim), Cindy Obdeyn, and predeceased by his beloved son Bernie (1991). Cherished Opa of Laura, Kaitlyn, Alana, Shannon, Jack, Alexander, Nicholas, Ceara and Alyssa. Lovingly remembered by two his brothers, four sisters and predeceased by one sister,one brother, and extended family - all in Holland.
Ben and Rhea arrived in Canada on April 21, 1961. In 1969, he began MaBo Westside Construction, building quality homes, cottages and commercial buildings throughout Niagara and winning many awards along the way and also serving as a director of the Niagara Home Builders' Association.
Ben was generous with his time. But his real passion was found as an avid volunteer, supporter, and a true champion of Wells of Hope. He personally travelled to Guatemala 32 times, since 2004, and directly improved the lives of countless children and their families through the construction of schools, community support buildings, infrastructure, and drinking water wells. He used his passion, drive, and organizational skills to coordinate and promote fundraising events and collect and deliver essential supplies, donations, and food to those in need. Ben organized 13 very successful golf tournaments to benefit the Wells Of Hope. When Covid hampered public fundraising events, he set up a workshop in his garage to make over 110 handcrafted wooden crosses, successfully finding another way to raise money for Wells of Hope and he also spent many hours volunteering at the Niagara Christian Gleaners.
Ben and Rhea were members of the Club de Netherlands and enjoyed Klompen dancing together for 18 years while a member of the club. Ben would end every day with a God bless you and a sign of the cross, on the forehead for Rhea. Kisses were very liberal with comings and goings. He loved watching hockey and it's fair to say that the Toronto Maple Leafs have lost one of their biggest fans.
Ben always had the drive and passion to get things done and bring out the best in others to join in and make a difference. He was truly content with his accomplishments and felt blessed for the fulfilling life he made for himself and his family. His legacy will live on through his children and grandchildren. His work ethic, positive perspective, and selfless acts of kindness will be missed and remembered always.
The family would like to extend their heartfelt thanks to the Walker Family Cancer Centre and to Welland Hospital Emergency and #3 South Medical for the care and compassion Ben received while there.
Cremation has taken place and the Funeral Mass will be held at the Parish Community of St. Kevin's, 303 Niagara Street, Welland on Tuesday, January 11th at 10:30 am. Rite of Committal will follow at Holy Cross Cemetery. Those wishing to attend must wear masks and practice social distancing protocols. There is a maximum occupancy at the church of 100 people. The Mass may also be viewed via live-stream the day of the service at the church's YouTube page athttps://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXomGyqwVeshqwwNXripjBw
and on the funeral home's Facebook page.
As an expression of sympathy donation may be made to Wells of Hope, 174 Cole Crescent, Niagara on the Lake, ON, L0S-1J0, phone 289-313-7109 or online (www.wellsofhope.com
Online condolences may be made at www.pelhamfuneralhome.ca
Published by St. Catharines Standard on Jan. 7, 2022.