Benedict R. "Ben" Maryniak
MARYNIAK - Benedict R. "Ben" May 25, 2009, age 61, beloved husband for 21 years of Catherine J. Curley; dearest father of Kendra (Richard Fitzgerald) Baumgartner and Eduard Maryniak; nephew to Florence Ignasiak, Leo Zolnowski, and Gertrude Murphy; cousin to Phillip and Bernadette Murphy; also survived by many brothers and sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews. Family will be present Thursday and Friday 2-4 & 6-8 PM at Zurbrick-AMIGONE FUNERAL HOME, 5615 Broadway, Lancaster. Graveside services will be held Saturday 10 AM at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Buffalo (please assemble at 9:45 AM at main gate) followed by a Memorial Service at Griffins Mills Presbyterian Church, 1812 Mills Rd, West Falls 14170. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Ben's memory to the Buffalo Civil War Roundtable. Share your condolences at www.AMIGONE.com
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Published by Buffalo News from May 27 to May 29, 2009.
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58 Entries
We had a beautiful service for Ben this past weekend at the Genesee Country Museum. There were many changes made at the GCM this year. One of the biggest was missing Ben's voice on the PA narrating the battle, his service, mail call (it didn't happen) and the comraderie that he would share with us. I had the extreme honor of using Philos Cook's folding camp desk for our mapmaking. Young Ed was present at the GCM and had a good time with plenty of people checking in with him. Alex Johnson
Alex
July 20, 2009
My wife Sharon and I just read about the untimely death of Ben in The Civil War News. We treasure Ben's friendliness and generosity. We have a copy of a photo from Ben's collection of the parade in downtown Buffalo when Lincoln's funeral train stopped in Buffalo. Ben knew of Sharon's interest in the Lincoln assassination so he had this copy made for Sharon. WE also enjoyed Ben's talks at the Rochester Civil War Roundtable. We will miss him when we visit local reenactments. Our sympathy to Ben's family.
Rodger & Sharon Burkhart
June 26, 2009
Cathy,
Please accept my sincere condolences on the untimely death of Ben. He was the first reenacting chaplain that I ever spoke with and he encouraged me to get involved in the hobby. Over the years he proved to be unfailingly kind and helpful with the many questions I sent to him about the life and work of chaplains. May he rest in peace.
Father David Moreno, SDB
June 22, 2009
Cathy and Family,
Ben was a quiet person who often stopped to visit friends at the Civil War Book Club. He shared his knowledge freely with others and often had the small necessary fact that the person needed and appreciated. His carring attitude for all will be missed. Everything he taught and showed us will remain in our hearts. Our special prayers and condolences are with the entire family.
Evelyn Wilmore
June 16, 2009
never got to meet ben but Remember him as the narrator of all the civil war reenactment's
my thoughts and prayers are with the family

Rob Tober
155 NYV
Rob Tober
June 13, 2009
Mrs. Maryniak, I was shocked to learn of Ben's death. I was Googling to find his address when I came across his obituary. I wanted to respond to a letter Ben wrote me in October of 2000. I wanted to tell him that he was right - there WAS a Confederate buried in Albany Rural Cemetery, and to ask him how in the world he learned that arcane fact. As so many have noted here, Ben Was generous with his time and talents. I three times asked him to speak here:(restoration of the grave of General Thomas, restoration of the Albany Civil War monument, and once (only once, alas) at the Capital District Civil War Round Table. We had the pleasure of your company for dinner at my home that evening. And of course there were those times on the re-enactment fields, and the NYC St. Patrick's Day Parade, good memories all. What a loss to know that Ben will no longer give me a prompt, full and accurate reply to my queries about the Civil War in western New York. I have kept all of his RT newsletters, and still browse through them from time to time. I think Ben used his time wisely, and I think his passing will be long regretted by many people whose lives he enriched. My sincere condolences.
Robert E. Mulligan, Jr.
June 12, 2009
On behalf of the members of the Southwestern Ontario Civil War Round Table, I would like to offer our sincere condolences.
John Wayne, President
June 9, 2009
We were shocked and saddened to here of Ben's passing. We met Ben through his lectures at the Southern Ontario Civil War Round Table then as fellow reenactors. We always enjoyed his stories and antecdotes.
Nancy & John Wayne, Pres Southwestern Ontario Civil War Round Table
June 9, 2009
Cathy, I was sad to know of Ben's illness and am so sorry for your loss. He was a gentle, kind, and patient man. He will be sadly missed.
Gabrielle Mikula
June 8, 2009
June 3, 2009
Dear Cathy and family,

I am so sorry to hear of the loss of Ben. I only knew him and you through Civil War reenactments, but he was such an inspiration to me and to all of us. He will be deeply missed. Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers.

Sincerely,
Sharon Woolever
140th NYVI
Sharon Woolever
June 2, 2009

I am thankful to have known "Mr.Ben" He was a true soldier in holding strong to his passions. It's rare to see anyone as consistant and dedicated.
I admired his ability to connect with all kinds of people on all levels. I won't forget how he encouraged me in my writing (the fact that he even noticed)
We were all blessed in knowing him.

Love, Linda
Linda Plinke
June 1, 2009
I did not personally know Ben, but hearing him speak at events was enough to know that he will sorely been missed. JR Rochester NY, Cushings Battery 4th US
J R
June 1, 2009
I have been away from the company and friendship of Ben and re-enactment for many years since leaving upstate New York, but I have never forgotten the extraordinary human being that Ben was. He left an indelible mark on my life and I am deeply grateful for having been privileged to know him. Cathy, and all....my heart is with you.
Darrell Jones
June 1, 2009
I consider myself fortunate to have called Ben my friend. He was always willing to freely share his knowledge, and his wit. More than once during his period services, he focused his attack on gambling as he gazed in my direction, driving home his message about the evils of the dice and the game, chuck-o-luck. His attention to detail and his creativity showed in all of his projects and presentations. Ben's observations were always a mix of detailed facts coupled with his dry wit. I will miss my conversations with him.

We are all better for knowing him.
Jeff Gore
May 31, 2009
Ben was one of our foremost local experts on the Civil War. Those of us in the local history world will miss him terribly.
Cynthia Van Ness
May 31, 2009
The loss of Ben is to me a most PROFOUND loss.... My heart is heavy, even since word of his illness started to filter thru. Cathy, I wish you well in these most terrible of days. And like I said at Forest Lawn, march stiffly....Ben will be at your side, ALWAYS. In my own all-too brief contacts with Ben thru the Round Table .... I shall cherish, and NEVER forget!
Carl Modica
May 30, 2009
Dear Cathy and chldren:
I knew Ben as a child when his folks would get together with mine and he and I and some of our other cousins would play Risk or some other game of military strategy. Though we were cousins and a year apart at both Bishop Turner and Canisius, we sadly drifted apart when I moved ou of Buffalo many years ago.
Reading about Bens many diverse and amazing accomplishments in his obituary, I was saddened by both his death and the fact we allowed time to take us on separate paths, never to even talk with each other. But I will always remember his kindness as a boy, and smile over our shared experiences as kids.
The tributes to him on these pages are truly a testament to the impressive, gentle and creative talent he became as an adult.
My heartfelt sympathy to you all.
Paul Maryniak
Paul Maryniak
May 30, 2009
Dear Cathy- i am so saddened by the loss of Mr Ben. I can not put into words how much I respected him for the work he did with our people. He was their hero! (and ours) There were so many times he rescued us when one of the guys were in quite a bad mood- he would cheer them up and make us safe again! The world looses an advocate for the devolopmentally disabled and Heaven gains one awesome guy. I will be praying for you and your family.
Jody Green
May 29, 2009
May 29, 2009
May 29, 2009
Cathy..we're so very sorry to hear of Ben's passing..He was a wonderful man.I hope this helps in some small way to know how much he'll also be missed by others...Gene & Linda Donohue
May 29, 2009
Cathy I'm so sorry to hear about Ben's passing - words cannot express the sadness. It's so heartwarming to see the way he touched peoples' lives. In reading the entries from those of us who worked at LSS - I realize that I forgot the impact that he had. Kitty is right - he took people out of WSDC that no one else would have. Ben always saw something special in people; what a gift!! I have such great memories - wasn't there an Academy Awards party after his movie debut??? I am so glad we were at the last Christmas party - those parties hold some great memories for all of us!! Ben was an amazing man I think because he touched such a wide variety of people. He really was larger than life in so many ways. Cathy if there is anything you need please let me know. God bless & you will all be in my prayers. Love Sue
Sue Rosky
May 29, 2009
May 29, 2009
Cathy,
So sorry to hear of your loss! I was shocked and saddened when I heard of his passing. Ben was an amazing individual and I have many a fond memories of sunday morning masses at reenactments. The passion he held for those services always captured my heart and attention. I will keep him, you and yours truly in my heart and prayers.
Mary Beth Enedy-Choromanski
May 29, 2009
Cathy and Ed,
May God shower you with his tender Mercies at this precious and terrible time in your lives.
The only human comforts we can offer are our memories. And those can comfort or cut through you. I hope these bring you comfort. The memory of Ben showing up with you and Ed to perform our marriage ceremony on 24 hours notice! I'm so touched that you were all able to share in our special day. Ben also baptizing our grandchildren. Speaking with him on those anxiuos days waiting for Ed! It seemed like an eternity,,now how quickly time has gone.
We have his books, our memories and the back of his head in 'Gettysburg' to remember him by :)
I will sorely miss hearing the cadence of his voice whether in sermon or friendship.
Our hearts are with you both, you are not alone.
Laurie and Lew Laning
May 29, 2009
Ben was certainly one of a kind and will be missed terribly. He touched many lives while he was here with us, and hopefully he is touching many more up in heaven.
The Roth Family
May 29, 2009
Cathy and Ed,
I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I remember Ben coming in to school and always sharing a "hello" with me. I will keep your family in my heart and know that my family and I are always here for the both of you.
Ami Cole
May 28, 2009
Ben was truly a unique and one-of-a-kind individual. He was such a larger-than-life personality, which is why it is so hard to believe that he is gone. There were so many facets to him - artist, musician, writer, historian, story teller, gifted speaker, husband, father, friend, mentor - that even now I am learning so much more about him.

As prolific a historian as he was, his legacy is magnified by the sheer numbers of people he encouraged and helped - myself included. There are many works that owe so much to his behind-the-scenes contributions.

All who knew him were enlightened in so many ways. He will be greatly missed. My prayers and thoughts are with his family and friends.
Brian Bennett
May 28, 2009
Cathy,
Oh my gosh ... what do I say?! I can't begin to explain how much he (you) have meant to me over the years. I practically grew up with you both (from a punk to a "mature" adult).
He was one of the most remarkable men I have ever known in my WHOLE ENTIRE LIFE! He taught me so much, he cared so much, he was truly an inspiration and, as I sit here balling my eyes out, I thank god Rosky & I made it to this years xmas party.
This is one of the biggest losses in my life, that I still cannot fathom.
I love you and will cherish all of the memories that we have all had over the years and we all know that he was ONE OF A KIND and will NEVER BE FORGOTTEN!
You are in my prayers, along with the family.
Love,
Elaine (please call if I can do anything ... 425-9607)
May 28, 2009
I only knew Ben from his unforgettable sermons, work with the choir, and commentary for spectators at Genesee Country Village and other local Civil War events. But those were a priceless part of my experience as a reenactor (155th NY), which won't be the same without him. I can't comprehend the void that his passing leaves just in the Western New York historical community, and his footprint was so much larger even than that. What a privilege it was to have known him, even casually, and how sorely he'll be missed! My earnest prayers are with his family.
Thomas Fleming
May 28, 2009
Dear Cathy:

This is such a tremendous loss. We have treasured Ben as a dear friend for so many years. He was the gentle giant in our life. Our prayers are with you and the family.

Carolyn Quadarella and Paul Kallina
Gettysburg, PA
May 28, 2009
I never had opportunity to meet Mr. Maryniak, but know him through his Civil War writings. As a descendant of Francis Strickland of the NY 154th, I have learned much about that era's history from his scholarship. Thank you for sharing him with us...even those of us who knew him only through the written word. My prayers are wit your family.
Rev. Linda Harle-Mould
May 28, 2009
Cathy and Ed, I am truly sorry for the loss of your husband and your Papa. I don't even know how you go about filling such a hole. May your memories of him carry you through. Please let me know if I can help in any way.
Cindy Bertuca
May 28, 2009
Ben's death represents a great loss to historians and to all interested in history. His work on the Diocese of Buffalo's televised documentary "Legacy of Victory: Remembering Father Baker," contributed greatly to understanding Baker's role in that conflict and of the "Draft Riots" in New York City to which Baker's militia unit was ordered. In Ben were combined great expertise on the Civil War era and a most congenial and helpful nature. With Condolences, Timothy R. Allan, Ph.D., SUNY Fredonia, History Department.
Timothy Allan
May 28, 2009
I am very suprised & saddened to hear about the passing of Ben. I didn't know Ben from his Civil War passion. I knew him from his working with the Mentally & Physically Handicap populaton. He hired me because of my experience to work in one of the facilities that he was managing. He was a very strong advocate for the individuals with behavioral problems, the ones that were difficult to place. He gave them a place to live in the community outside WSDC when no one else dared to do. Because of this he has opened the doors to a forgotten population and gave them a chance to prove everyone wrong. Ben proved them wrong, they can live in the a community and be productive. This population has lost a voice, someone who cared when no one did. He will most definitely be missed by many, many individuals from both the Mentally & Physically Handicap individuals, their families & the Civil War enthusiast!!!
Kitty Collins
May 28, 2009
Dear Mrs. Maryniak,

I was so saddened to read of Ben's death, and extend my deepest sympathy to you and your family. It was a real pleasure for me to get to know Ben while I served as President of the Gettysburg Battlefield Preservation Association, where he was a constant and enthusiastic supporter in some very difficult times. He graced my church, Lower Marsh Creek Presbyterian Church (Gettysburg) with a special program as Chaplain Cook several years ago, and I remember vividly how impressed the congregation was. This all seems so unfair, and I can only imagine how difficult it must be for you and the family. Ben was a real treasure--a one of a kind--and the entire Civil War community has suffered a great loss, and a great friend. May God be with you at this most difficult time. Sincerely,
Dr. Walter L. Powell, Gettysburg, PA
Walter Powell
May 27, 2009
Cathy,
I am so sorry for your loss, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family . Ben was a great historian ,he really brought the Civil War to life for me and so many others, he was an inspiration to all of us. It was a privilege to know him .I always enjoyed his Sunday service and battlefield commentary at Mumford
Joseph Rennie
May 27, 2009
Ben was always willing to help out a worthy cause and lend any information to fellow historians. We were all blessed with his presence. May God bless his family and friends in his absence.
Garr Gast
May 27, 2009
Cathy,we are so sorry for your loss.Our thoughts and prayers are with you.Mike & Barb Colangelo
May 27, 2009
May 27, 2009
Cathy,
I can not imagine the grief you must be feeling at this time. Ben will be sorely missed. All that knew him were richer for the wealth of knowledge he had memorized and shared with such great passion. You and Eddie and the family will be in our prayers in the coming difficult days ahead. May God's peace be of comfort to you.
Our deepest condolences.
God bless,
Kristie Bacher and family
Kristie Bacher
May 27, 2009
May 27, 2009
Dear Cathy,
It was a blessing and a privilege to be able to say that Ben was a friend. His knowlege of, and devotion to our collective history is an inspiration to all of us. When I first met Ben He was in the middle of procuring Medal of Honor grave markers for several local civil war soldiers who were not properly
recognised for thier deeds. There was even one in a totally unmarked grave and another who was my great great grandfather. I will always remmember Ben
and be grateful for his generous friendship and yours.
Ed Johengen
May 27, 2009
I am truly saddened for the loss of Ben. I did not know him very long, but he has been the voice of Civil War re-enactments and Sunday morning services. The re-enacting community has lost such an important face and friend.

My prayers are especially with Cathy and their son Ed.

Julie Place
140th NYVI
Julie Place
May 27, 2009
May 27, 2009
"Let us cross over the river,and rest under the shade of the trees",Stonewall Jackson.You are up there at the roundtable with the greats,Lee,Sherman,Grant,Jackson,save me a chair.Rest in peace.
Richard Futch
May 27, 2009
Ben was an unforgettable character. As a former reenactor and member of the 155th NYVI, I was among many who benefitted from Ben's vast store of Civil War period history, and was fortunate enough to hear him speak many, many times. In this respect he had few peers. His passion for history--and passion for sharing it--as well as his ability to say 'a few choice words' was singular and will certainly be missed by our entire community. Ben made us all better historians and keepers of our past, and for that I will always remember him. His family and dear friends have my most sincere sympathy on the passing of this special man.
Robert Buresch
May 27, 2009
Cathy,
I can only imagine how hard his death must be striking you and your children. It bowled me over. He was so much help to me writing a book about my Civil War great grandfather. He simply knew it all and was totally willing to share his vast knowledge and library. My deepest condolences.
Bill Donohue, Clarence
Bill Donohue
May 27, 2009
Dear Cathy and family: I did not know Ben personally. But I remember his appearances at the Genesee Country Village Civil War Weekend in Mumford, as he narrated the afternoon skirmish. The event will never be the same without his mellow voice. May God be with you, and all his many Civil War friends.
Patricia Finnegan
May 27, 2009
Cathy,

My sympathies to you and the family.

Ben is the reason I have my Masters Degree today! He not only mentored me at LSS but became a friend and gave me the guidance I needed to get my thesis done.
I will always remember his kindness when I was a needed mom at home with young children and of course the many years of laughter with the agency.
Nancy Cuoco
May 27, 2009
Our deepest condolences.
Bill and Molly Hauck
William Hauck
May 27, 2009
I worked with Ben at the Erie County Home
he was a wonderful man. I will never forget his Irish Wolfhound either!!
He also loved his wife and kids. He took very good care of the residents.
I hope you will all take comfort in his full, but short life.
Mary Molly Shea
May 27, 2009
Cathy and family, Ben was an exceptional, unforgettable spirit. So giving of his knowledge (and his colorful opinions), so learned, so effective at public speaking. His story telling really captured my imagination, and his passion for our Civil War history was infectious.

Just as Ben exemplified "living history" to me, he will always live on in my memory.

Ben and you all are in our prayers.

Peace to all.
Kevin Gorman
May 27, 2009
I know I speak for many when I say that it was truly an honor and a privilege to enjoy Ben's friendship, and to benefit from the knowledge he was always glad to share. His passing at too early of an age is, and will continue to be, an immeasurable loss to the entire community of Civil War enthusiasts and historians, and of course to his family and friends.

On a personal level, I will always be grateful for Ben's wise counsel and encouragement, and for the many happy memories of campaigns shared with this remarkable man.

With warmest regards and heartfelt condolences,
Tom Schobert (Surgeon Farand Wylie 155th NYVI)
Tom Schobert
May 27, 2009
Dear Cathy,
I am deeply sorry for your loss. Ben was a lover of history & a gift to the Civil War Buff, being the walking encyclopedia that he was.

Ben was a proud member of both the Chaplain PG Cook Camp 223, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War & the Buffalo Guards Camp 1975, Sons of Confederate Veterans, which he helped both organizations greatly.

Ben was my mentor & friend.

I could always count on Ben when I needed him for a presentation, talk, tour, research or a memorial service.

I sat in on many of his talks through the years, hearing the same stories a hundred times & could sit through another 100 if given the opportunity, because of his knowledge & personality.

Our Civil War community will not be the same without his: presence, insite & wit

I will miss him, but most of all I would like for you to know that I am here for you Cathy, as well as our membership of our two Sons camps. If we can help you in anyway, We will be there.

Sincerely,
Steve
Steve Teeft
May 27, 2009
Ben was a scholar and gentleman. He was a dear friend to all in Civil War reenacting and gladly would share his knowledge with other reenactors and the public. His persona of The 94th NYVI's Chaplain Philos Cook was well researched as well as his over 2,000 Civil War era sermons. As the President of the Buffalo Civil War Roundtable he was instrumental in securing the 155th's Memorial that was dedicated in 2002. He will be missed by all and leaves many large voids in several communities. I will personally miss him at his period service at the Brooks Grove Church at the Genesee Country Museum, his mail call in the village and his stirring narration from the gazebo after the battle on the Great Meadow..."to look out onto our nation's battlefields now that appear to be manicured parks...." just a small portion of his annual speech. He has no equal. Father Abraham and the old men that fought before us have already welcomed him into their arms. I shall always link Ben with Memorial Day.
Alex Johnson
May 27, 2009
Dear Cathy,

I have so many memories of being with Ben in uniform that I can hardly keep them straight. My time spent in the 155th and with Ben are some of the best a person could ask for. He came to my father's wake and that meant the world to me. He will always have my utmost respect and admiration. I always knew I could get an answer or a laugh from Old Philo. I will miss him.

With great sadness
Larry Wagner
Larry Wagner
May 27, 2009