On Christmas night, our son, Ben Breedlove received a gift greater than any we could have given him. He stood in the presence of his Lord and Savior and felt the peace that surpasses all understanding. Ben's 18-year-old heart may have been afflicted with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, but his physical limitations didn't keep him from experiencing the things he loved---in fact, he found extraordinary ways to expand on those experiences and take us all along for the ride. He had a curiosity for learning (remember the drum kit?), and his quick, analytical mind sought ways to be the best at whatever captured his attention. He loved wakeboarding, shooting, and playing Call of Duty. His claim to fame was when he and little brother, Jake, beat Colt McCoy and Jordan Shipley in an online match. And they did it gleefully! There are so many ways to describe Ben: he was witty, sharp and funny, and his pranks were legendary. Just ask the unsuspecting drivers on City Park Road! He knew how to operate outside the system, while accomplishing his goals in an honorable fashion. While Ben never seemed to take anything seriously, his happy- go-lucky nature was matched with a warm, loving and candid personality. His YouTube channel gives witness to what his legion of female admirers thought of him! And now the world has come to know our Ben. He was a genius at using the Internet to reach and influence his peers. Through his brilliance with maneuvering the capabilities of YouTube, Ben has left a message for his generation. In the weeks prior to his death, he had faced some scary situations with his health, but had been given an amazing gift that he was determined to share; first with us, his family, and then, not surprisingly (and generously) with his YouTube audience. We know the Lord used the amazing life of our precious son to reach a weary world on Christmas night, just as He did over 2000 years ago with his own Son. We invite you to visit YouTube, and just enter "Ben Breedlove" and receive the gift that Ben hoped would change your life. Ben was abundantly loved by his devoted family: parents, Shawn and Deanne; sister, Ally; and brother, Jake. Waiting to start the party in Heaven were both his grandmothers, Jan Breedlove and Sue Raine. Ben left grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, countless friends of the family, fellow students at Westlake High School, and members of the Internet Generation to mourn the loss of his creativity, wittiness and beautiful smile. Ben has left a lasting impression and legacy far beyond his 18 years. While the pain of losing Ben will never be far, his life is serving a greater purpose. You were always full of surprises, Ben, and this is the best one yet! "May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord." Memorial services will be conducted at three o'clock in the afternoon, Thursday, the 29th of December at Gateway Church, 7104 McNeil Drive, Austin, Texas 78729. Tributes may be made at www.cookwaldenfuneralhome. com
Published by Austin American-Statesman on Dec. 29, 2011.