On Tuesday, February 10, 2015, the world lost the best husband, father, son, brother and grandpa. Ben Paul Rash was raised in Idaho and joined the United States Navy in 1977. He served on a nuclear Submarine, the USS Drum, SSN677. After a six year stint, he settled in Fresno, CA, and met the love of his life and partner in crime, Mary Ellen. They raised four kids, Cecilia, Conor, Jake, and Trevor, and made the Tower District their home. Their house was always filled with friends, family, music, food, noise and pets. Ben was also an avid motorcycle enthusiast. He had a wicked sense of humor and was a natural born storyteller. Ben worked for the City of Fresno for 16 years and filled in for Spiderman in his spare time. Ben is survived by his wife of 27 years, Mary Ellen; his four children and their spouses; eight grandchildren; mother, Dotty Heying; step-mother, Patty Rash; sisters, Darla and Dee,; brothers, Rick and Joe; many, many brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law; and nieces and nephews. A Celebration and Toast to his amazing life will be held at the family home on March 14, 2015, in the afternoon.
Published by Fresno Bee on Feb. 22, 2015.
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28 Entries
I met Paul after I moved to Twin Falls in 1975 to attend the College of Southern Idaho. And that's where we met. The following Summer, I moved into an apartment that was upstairs from his and we hung out together many times and drank beer, listened to records and played some guitar (I taught him a few licks). I remember when he joined the Navy - he felt like his life needed some direction. And I wished him the best. He was a good guy. I'm so sorry to hear of his passing. It sounds like he lived a good life with people who loved him. I wish you and yours the best.
Brian Croner
October 15, 2020
You are so missed by your family. You left a huge hole in our lives. The holidays are the hardest without your voice and creative genius. Until we see you again...❤
December 9, 2018
I love you papa I wish that you were still here I miss you
December 7, 2018
Ben, we love you brother and we will see each other again so rest in peace and till then "what the hell is that bearing 152?"
Chuck Cass
November 15, 2018
Ben Paul, Serving with him on the Drum was a blast as he reminded me of Donald Sutherland in Kelly's Heros " Odd Ball". I remember going to a movie to see Pink Floyd The Wall in San Diego and we were riding on his Harley and I fell off the back when he gunned the Harley. I was OK but it took Ben Paul 10 minutes to figure out he lost me and came back.
Chuck Cass
November 15, 2018
To My Beloved....Until we are together again. Stay by my side.
Mary Ellen
February 25, 2018
I've always been slow to learn life's lessens, but I learned a hard one today. It's stay in touch with the good people in your life. Ben Paul is one of them. Ben and I served on the Drum together for almost 4 years and lived with boredom and terror, good times and bad. He attended my 40th birthday party and after not seeing him in so many years it was like we had never left the boat. From Thailand to Vladivostok and beyond we were shipmates. Ben was the first qualified friend I made and he encouraged me from the start. I never met a better more giving person in my life. So many people pass by us in our lives and most are a light breeze never messing your hair, Ben could change the weather and blow the clouds away. Ben I will be seeing you again in just a minute or two but for now, This Bud's for you my friend. Friends always.
Thomas Cutro
February 27, 2017
Searching past shipmates, I just found out of BenPauls passing. I served with him on Drum in the late 70's early 80's. What a character! I loved listening to his way of explaining just about anything. His zest for life made it fun just to hang with him. I remember his motorcycle he rode back then, with the tin can oil "oil filter" he installed. Rest easy friend.
Greg Lente
December 11, 2016
I will miss you, together we got through it. "Diesel all secure"
Eric Smith
October 9, 2016
Will miss you till we sail together again.
Eric Smith
October 9, 2016
I sailed with BenPaul on USS Drum in the late 70s, what a great guy, fine shipmate, and good friend! We sat in Thailand and enjoyed a cold beer (or many two) many years ago, he had a wonderful sense of humor. I knew him only for a fragment of his life and wish we had more time ... I can only imagine the joy he gave to those that had more time with him.
Rest your oar my brother!
Rich Hendren
Cdr USN (ret)
Moose FTG2 (SS)
December 8, 2015
I learned today of BenPaul's passing and wanted to extend my deepest condolences to his family. We were friends on the Drum and had many good times together. He will always be remembered as a great and funny guy. It takes someone special to be a part of a submarine crew and he was of a very special type. We loved him dearly. He will be sorely missed.
Randy Weston
December 6, 2015
Paul and I were both Sonarmen and friends on Drum. We left the Navy and traveled home together in 1983. My condolences to his family and friends. RIP Ben-Paul. Love you Bro!
Rick Riley
December 6, 2015
September 27, 2015
Rest in Peace. I may be a distant relative. My name is Paul Kenneth Rash. I served on submarines during WWII. I am a member of USSVI Indiana Base. May God Comfort Your Family.
Paul "Ken " Rash
March 5, 2015
My dearest brother Paul!! You left to soon and sorrow has filled my soul! You touched so many lifes and you had the biggest and kindest heart anyone could ever know. I am missing you so much!!! Sleep well my brother!
Joe Rash
March 2, 2015
One of the finest people I knew, the world is better for having him been a part of it, and lesser now that he has left. Love and comfort to his dear family and friends.
Lisa Condoian
February 28, 2015
Ben, it broke my heart when you left us. I miss you picking on me and me able to return the favor. I really enjoyed knowing you and working with you. Even though you joked, when it came to business you were great, I remember you respondig to one of my calls and being new to housing I pointed out what I thought were violations, the first words out of your mouth were, Good Job Lisa. I know people who worked for you loved working for you because you always thanked them for their work. I wish I couldve had the honor of you being my senior. God Bless you Ben and God Bless your family, to Bens family, Ben was great and had a big heart. I am so sorry for your loss.
Lisa Casillas
February 26, 2015
I was a Ups driver downtown Fresno for almost 24 years and I had the pleasure of meeting a gentle giant, we always had great conversations and every time I would see him he would say your the hardest working man I know and I appreciated that. He will be missed and my prayers go out to the family.
David Harris
February 25, 2015
On behalf of the United States Submarine Veterans (On USSVI), we offer our sincere condolences to Mary Ellen and all of the Rash family and friends in your loss and sorrow. May God whisper peace into your hearts and comfort and heal them. We are grateful for Ben's service to our country in the U.S. Submarine Service. To our Brother of the Dolphin "Sailor, rest your oar. We have the watch. May you rest in peace and may God bless your loved ones who remain. Thank you for your service to our country." -- Chaplain Bob Reinisch, National Chaplain United States Submarine Veterans, USSVI.
Bob Reinisch
February 24, 2015
I was proud to be an associate of ben Rash at City Hall. I loved his passion and his compassion. He told me truth....even sometimes when truth hurt. But he was authentic and had an integrity about life that I will always remember and admire. My very best to your family.

Mark Scott
former Fresno city manager
Mark Scott
February 24, 2015
We looked up to Ben at work, because he had the kind of leadership that counts: moral leadership. He truthfully said what needed to be said (usually in a way that made you smile), and he could be depended on to do what needed to be done. As much as we miss him at work, I can only imagine the loss his family is feeling. Deepest condolences, and if you need help please call on us.
Sandy Brock
February 24, 2015
Ben will be sorely missed at The Discovery Center where he worked tirelessly as a volunteer with his wife and Director, Mary Ellen. John Wesley writes, "Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. At all the times you can. to all the people you can." On behalf of the Trustees of The Discovery Center we recognize Ben's dedication to his community and he is missed.
Gary Pigg
February 24, 2015
I remember Ben building Zoo Boo's haunted house for days on end. I also remember his willingness to jump in and help at major zoo functions. Both Mary Ellen and Ben were very important to Chaffee Zoo as friends and docents. Mary Ellen, I am thinking of you and the kids.
Marcia Dobbs
February 24, 2015
He was a wonderful brother, a man who put others before his own needs. He was kind and giving and always made me laugh! I miss him so very much!
February 22, 2015
To the Rash Family,

On behalf of the Charleston Base SUBVETS and Swamp Fox Chapter SUBVETS WWII, I offer you our sincere condolences on Ben's passing. We grieve with you on the loss of your loved one and all SUBVETS and their families have your family in our thoughts and prayers. There is no expiration date on the back of our dolphins and Ben will always be remembered as a Brother of the Phin and a great Patriot.

Benjamin Paul Rash
US Navy Submarine Veteran
Now on Eternal Patrol
Sailor Rest Your Oar
Your Shipmates Have The Watch

Fair Winds and Following Seas Shipmate

Charleston Base Submarine Veterans
Nick Nichols, Base Chaplain
Nick Nichols
February 22, 2015
Loving brother, my best friend, my protector in our early years. We had many fun adventures throughout our lives together. Loving Husband, loving father amazing Papa to your 8 grandchildren. Loving Son to your moms. Loved by so many, taken to soon. You are missed. The memories flood my brain. I will continue to love and pray for all you left behind. Until I see you again. I am sure you and Dad are having a hoot of a time causing all kinds of mischief in heaven.
Darla Rash Dennis
February 22, 2015
A good man and a good friend...he will be missed.
Gary Kautz
February 21, 2015
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