Benjamin Kress
1986 - 2018
Bangs Funeral Home, Inc. - Ithaca
209 W Green St.
Ithaca, NY
Benjamin Kress

Ithaca - Benjamin Kress of Ithaca, N.Y., a neuroscience researcher and third-year student at SUNY Upstate Medical University, died October 13th in Syracuse, NY at age 31. He is remembered by family and friends as a kind, playful, smart and generous young man of incredible promise.

Ben's compassion and natural instinct to help others was influenced by years of struggle with sleep problems and chronic back pain. After a high school football injury, and a series of surgeries and medications to resolve his back pain, he was determined to learn more about the neurological basis of pain and to help people who were experiencing similar debilitating physical and psychological conditions. Ben's personal experience and scientific training provided him with a deep understanding of the insidious interplay between chronic pain and addiction. His intent was to complete his medical degree and resume research in the field of pain management.

Ben's accomplishments included many scientific papers, a prestigious fellowship from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, collaboration with a lab at the University of Rochester Medical School and the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, and mentoring dozens of researchers and graduate students. However, his greatest accomplishment was his generosity and ability to understand and communicate with others, regardless of their points of view. Ben worked in a field that was full of challenges and enormous demands. Yet he brought passion, humor, curiosity, and kindness to every collaboration in which he participated.

Benjamin Travis Kress was born in Ithaca, NY in 1986, the second son of Stephen Kress and Evelyn Weinstein. He graduated Ithaca High School in 2005, Hobart and William Smith Colleges in 2010, and he received a post baccalaureate degree from the University of Rochester.

He is survived by his parents, sister Liliana Pearl Kress, brother Nathan Kress, sister-in-law Emily Kress, nephew Max Keene Kress, stepmother Elissa Wolfson, stepfather David Buchner, and girlfriend Anne Sofie Munk.

Bangs Funeral Home in Ithaca is in charge of arrangements. A memorial service will be announced at a later date. To honor Ben, the seed of a new program is being planted to raise awareness of mental health and wellness issues among medical students, researchers, and faculty.

Published by Ithaca Journal on Oct. 20, 2018.
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Funeral services provided by:
Bangs Funeral Home, Inc. - Ithaca
Sponsored by The Ithaca Journal.
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11 Entries
I have only just learned of Ben's passing. Ben was my student at Ithaca High School. I remember him fondly. I can see him where he sat near the door. He was usually smiling and joking with friends. He was well-liked, with a warmth that clearly traveled 15 years into the future in the memory of him I now share. My deepest condolences to you, Evie, his brother Nate, and all who loved him.
Stacey Payette
January 13, 2020
hello everyone i am Liliana Kress, Benjamins sister.
i want to share a memory with ben when i was 10 ben brought me to the Syracuse climbing wall and i had the best time ever i even climbed a wall that ben couldt even climb.
Friday 2019 on the 8th is bens birthday i miss him every day he was such a big part of me and i couldt of learned one of my favorite sports if it wasent for him. so thank you ben thank you everyone for all being so supportive with this.
November 6, 2019
I had the immense good fortune & privilege of studying with Ben at the University of Rochester. As a study partner, table tennis opponent, philosophy discussion partner, and friend, he made it so much richer an experience. I am stricken by his passing, and by how long it has taken the news to reach me, for no other reason than that that's how full we all keep our lives with busy-ness. My deepest condolences, and lots of love always.
Christopher McCamic
January 5, 2019
I am simply devastated to have just heard of the passing of my beautiful friend Ben. I am so deeply sorry for his lovely family's unimaginable loss. I was blessed to spend quality time with Ben in the past year. We laughed hysterically together, walked, read, and immediately connected.
He will be deeply dearly missed. I am Heartbroken and offer my empathy, support and love to his family during their time of grieving. I love you, Ben!
Michael Ingiosi
October 29, 2018
a loved one
October 26, 2018
I cannot even imagine the depth of this loss for your family. I was deeply saddened when I heard the news. I send you heartfelt condolences from me, Brian, and Jeremy. We are all so very sorry for your loss.
Terry Mingle
October 22, 2018
Evie, Dave, and family, heartbroken to hear this news. Holding your family and friends in thought and prayers. Best, Pam Hanna & Greg Menzenski & sons
Pamela Hanna
October 22, 2018
May this candle light the way to your next adventure and may the warmth of the flame keep the memories bright.
Colleen D
October 22, 2018
Oh Steve so sorry to hear this news. My thoughts are with you and your family.
Lanie Wilmarth
October 20, 2018
Sending healing prayers and comforting hugs.
Cassie R.
October 20, 2018
You are held close and deep in our hearts at this sad time.
Paul Viscuso
October 20, 2018
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