GEORGE BENJAMIN HARBISON JR.
FLORENCE MONTANA: Ben Harbison 65, of Florence passed away Friday May 28, 2021 at his home surrounded by his family. He fought a valiant battle against cancer.
Born September 20,1955 to George and Margaret Harbison second of four children.
Ben grew up in Missoula, Montana and attended Roosevelt Elementary and then Hellgate High School where he honed his athletic skills most of which was Football. He was Deca Parliamentarian in 1972, Modeled for Port Hole Room Men's Wear, and wore #56 for the Hellgate Knights Football team. During his senior year he played in the East West Shrine game for which he was immensely proud. He was a 1974 graduate of Hellgate High School.
Ben attended the University of Montana from 1974-1978, he studied Sociology and Criminology and wore #72 as an Offensive Tackle for the Montana Grizzlies. Ben's 6'7" frame was undeniable. In 1977 he was recruited by the Saskatchewan Rough Riders. In 1978 recruitment offers poured in from NFL teams. He was recruited by the Detroit Lions, Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Seattle Seahawks, New England Patriots, and the San Diego Chargers. During the last game of his senior year, he sustained an injury to his ankle which would forever close the door on his NFL dreams.
1978-1999 True to his fighting nature Ben pursued Law Enforcement. 20 years, Patrol Officer City 74, Supervisor of Patrol Units, CPR Instructor, Detectives Youth Bureau, Narcotics, Bomb Technician, Search and Rescue Diver. 1979-1990 Arrow Ambulance Driver, Served with the Secret Service for President Clinton's visit to Montana (one of his fondest memories) Beach Transportation school bus and Osprey Team Driver, 1999-2001 Quality Supply and JTL. 9-2001 to 6-2018 KB's Horse In Around Daycare Inc.
Ben married his loving wife Kim in May 10, 1990.
In his off time from work, he loved to play Softball, Volleyball, and Basketball. If he wasn't on a field, he was water skiing and hanging out at the lake. Ben spent a great deal of time volunteering and mentoring youth, he was an Assistant Varsity Coach for the Hellgate Knights, Little Grizzly football coach, 4H and Ravalli County Fair volunteer, and Assistant Coach for the Florence Falcons. He spent 13 years as a volunteer at the Law Enforcement Youth Camp (Doc), and would later work side by side with Kim at their long time Daycare business. Ben was a gentle soul and the days with Daycare kids were among his fondest memories.
Ben, Benny, Big Ben, Gentle Ben, Dad, Papa which ever you called him he was our "larger than life" gentle giant that lived for his family.
Survivors include: Kim Harbison (wife), Jessica (Daughter) and Dave Kostecki, Curtis Gauthier (Son), Sydney Kostecki, Isabelle Gauthier, Savannah Kostecki (Granddaughters), Margret Harbison (Mother), Robyn (Sister) and Dennis Stanley, Jim Harbison (Brother), Sue Kidder (Sister), Larry and Cathy Ballinger (In laws), Edna and Gary Leger (in laws), Julie Ruff (Sister In law), Laurie Kuntz (Sister In Law), Joann and Vince Gallagher (Sister and Brother In Law), Tammy Robertson (Sister In Law) and numerous nieces and nephews, aunts and uncles.
We want to thank Whitesitt Funeral Home and Home Health and Hospice of Montana for your loving care. In Lieu of Flowers, donations be made to Dan Fox Children's home. Celebration of life will be held: Florence Carlton Community Church, 20075 Old Hwy 93, Florence, Montana, July 10, 2021, 11am. Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at www.whitesittfuneralhome.com.