Benjamin Jeffrey Watkins
2002 - 2021
BORN
2002
DIED
2021
FUNERAL HOME
Parkside Brenna-Cellini Funeral Homes
1584 Parkside Ave
Ewing, NJ
A kind and gentle spirit Benjamin Jeffrey Watkins, beloved son of Jeffrey David and Amy Elizabeth Watkins, and dear brother of Abby Evelyn Watkins, died on October 17, 2021. He was only 19 years old. Giving proof to his strong will and outrageous sense of humor from the very beginning, Ben was born an agonizing 11 days late on January 25, 2002, in New Brunswick, New Jersey. He spent nearly his entire life growing up in Watchung, New Jersey, where he participated in several activities including little league, roller hockey, soccer, and marching band. He excelled at the French horn, achieving coveted spots with the New Jersey Youth Symphony, Region Band and Orchestra, and All-State Band. Because of Ben, who received a U.S. ambassador grant in 2019, his parents and sister had the pleasure of traveling to Norway to watch him perform for the queen with the Toppenkurset Norwegian Music Academy. Ben's family moved to Princeton, New Jersey, as he began his sophomore year at The College of New Jersey, where Ben planned to double-major in music performance and psychology, and had already made lasting friendships and significant musical accomplishments. A member of the college's Lambda Nu chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia music fraternity, Ben was an excellent student who made Dean's List each semester. He was also a member of several musical ensembles and student organizations, including the TCNJ Wind Ensemble and Orchestra, and the Lions Gaming, Organization of the Worlds, and Outdoors Clubs. Ben was best known for his kind soul and warm and gentle spirit. He was passionate about cycling, baking, skiing and building things with his hands, and he made several furniture pieces that will be enjoyed by many for years to come. He loved his friends, family, and music, and could always be counted on for telling (or more often being the subject of) a uniquely funny story. In addition to his parents and his sister, Ben is survived by three grandparents (Charles Nicholas "Nick" Carter, Catherine Nellie Watkins, David Edward Watkins), aunts and uncles (Nancy Carter, Jen Watkins and Fred Camello, Mark and Joanne Watkins, Rich and Sally Wilk), cousins (Becca and Lizzie Terranova, Jake and Josh Watkins), and countless friends. He was predeceased by his grandmother (Evelyn Jane Carter), who met him for the first time as she welcomed him into heaven. A memorial service celebrating Ben's life will be held at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, October 22, 2021, preceded by a viewing between 2:00 and 4:00 p.m., at Parkside Brenna-Cellini Funeral Home, 1584 Parkside Ave., Ewing Township, New Jersey 08638. All are invited and encouraged to share a favorite memory of Ben in writing, which will be collected and shared. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Ben's name in the form of loving kindness to others.
Published by The Star-Ledger from Oct. 19 to Oct. 20, 2021.
MEMORIAL EVENTS
Oct
22
Viewing
2:00p.m. - 4:00p.m.
Parkside Brenna-Cellini Funeral Homes
1584 Parkside Ave, Ewing, NJ
Oct
22
Memorial service
4:00p.m.
Parkside Brenna-Cellini Funeral Homes
1584 Parkside Ave, Ewing, NJ
Funeral services provided by:
Parkside Brenna-Cellini Funeral Homes
MAKE A DONATION
MEMORIES & CONDOLENCES
Sponsored by The Family.
Add a Message


Not sure what to say?



20 Entries
Extending my deepest sympathy to your family during this time. My prayers and blessings are with you..
Jennifer Canty
Other
November 2, 2021
We were very sorry to hear about Ben. Our hearts go out to you during this very difficult time. Our deepest sympathies to all.
The Hansen Family
October 27, 2021
While I only knew him for a short while, he was one of the absolute nicest people I´ve met. Easy to talk to and talented in baking, Ben was an all around great guy. My heart goes out to his family.
Justin
Friend
October 25, 2021
I only knew Ben for a short while, but the time I spent with him made a huge impact on my life. He was one of the only people at allstate band that went out of his way to talk to me. He was always so kind and cheery. His fun and positive attitude showed me what it is truly like to be a musician. He inspired me to pursue music in college and that is what I am currently doing. Thank you, Ben. For helping me realize the true happiness and awesomeness that is music. Also, he was a hell of a horn player, one of the best I ever met.
Casey Delsandro
October 23, 2021
It took me a while to be able to write this. Ben was an incredible person. He was helpful and kind, and one of the funniest people I've ever met. He was so full of life, and i cant even start to understand how to express how much i will miss him. I'll always remember you Ben, your time here was too short.
Griffin Monaghan
Friend
October 23, 2021
It´s been a while since I last talked to Ben in-person, but when I think of him I think of someone so incredibly talented, creative, and funny. We had geometry together freshman year of high school, and he was such a chill, sweet guy. When I moved away, I looked forward to seeing his social media updates. Whether it was a new recipe, a new project, or instrumental practices, I was also intrigued by what he was up to. He was truly a joy to be around, and I will remember him fondly.
Kim Walters
October 22, 2021
I wasn´t very close to Ben. I knew him from Regions and Allstate auditions. I actually met him on my allstate audition line where I was freaking out about whether I´d make mistakes. He told me that life was too short to worry about mistakes and told me life´s precious and once. I´ll remember that forever now and always be inspired by his way of life
Anthony D´Antuono
Other
October 22, 2021
Wharton Institute (NJYS)
October 22, 2021
The WHRHS Band Parents
October 22, 2021
It is our prayer that God will comfort you and your whole family during this sad time. May he richly bless you as you mourn, and may the light of His presence be a continual source of consolation
Ododo Asuen & Family
October 22, 2021
I am so so sorry to hear this. Ben was a student in my Algebra 2 class at WHRHS, and I remember him as being so kind, and such a bright light in our class.
Larissa Merritt
School
October 22, 2021
I am deeply saddened by Ben's passing. A few days ago, I picked out a photo of the French Horn section from the Two Nutcracker Concert two years ago to be used for this year's concert material. Ben is in the photo and I was wondering how he was doing in college and if he was still playing the French horn. I only have warm and happy memories of Ben. Our conversations were often about how he could improve his horn playing and how much he loved being part of NJYS. I will never forget his warm smile, gentle spirit, kind heart and his beautiful horn playing. And to Ben's family, please know there is always a seat for Ben in the French horn section of NJYS. On behalf of the New Jersey Youth Symphony community, please accept our deepest condolences.
Helen H. Cha-Pyo / New Jersey Youth Symphony
Other
October 21, 2021
Townhouse East 7
October 21, 2021
I´m so sorry to hear about Ben Me and Dave will have your family in our thoughts.
Barbara Andresen
School
October 21, 2021
Your TCNJ Bands Family
October 21, 2021
Our heart is broken. We wish and pray that love, comfort and strength will embrace you during this very difficult time. Our deepest sympathy.
Chad Huang and Family
Friend
October 20, 2021
Val and Mary Jo
October 19, 2021
The Marszaleks
October 19, 2021
Young Cha and Family
October 19, 2021
There are no words for this - can only say we're so very very sorry for your loss. Acts of kindness in Ben's honor makes perfect sense as he was a kind, wonderful person.
Tania and Zoe Correale
Friend
October 19, 2021
Showing 1 - 20 of 20 results