In loving memory of Benjamin C. Meek Oct. 16, 1946 - Feb. 22, 2024


Benjamin C. Meek died peacefully at his home in Venersborg with family by his side February 22, 2024, after a long illness with congestive heart failure and kidney failure.  He was 77 years old.  Ben was born on October 16, 1946, in Kamloops, British Columbia, to Clifford C. Meek and Lillie Young Browning Meek. He joined a blended family of two brothers, James and Garry, and two sisters, Nancy and Georgina.  He was joined by three younger siblings in the following years: Diana, Judy, and William. After spending his early years at the family-constructed mill, gas station, and store in Barrier, BC, the family moved to National City, California in 1951. There Ben spent many happy years exploring the lush farming fields and orchards surrounding their home, with his older brothers.  Their relatives owned a dairy and the large family received weekly deposits of milk, butter and cream. Their grandparents and great uncle lived nearby and came for Sunday dinner each week. Ben remembers his great uncle telling him to drink coffee black, the only way a real man would drink it. Ben’s father had a little sister, Joy, who also grew up with them. Clifford was manager and master mechanic at D&K Volkswagen Motors. Love of vehicles and vehicle mechanics ran deep in Ben’s veins all his life, from his beloved ’46 Chevy he owned in the early 60s, through countless cars, trucks, engine swaps, wrecks, repairs, to his latest 2014 Chevy SUV.

When Ben was 12 years old, his father died of cancer. His mother sent his teen-aged older brothers back to their family in BC. She sold her assets, married a preacher, and moved to a property up the Yachats River on the Oregon coast. Her marriage to the preacher didn’t last, but she stayed on her Yachats River property, and Ben became the man of the family, milking two cows morning and night, cutting and splitting wood for the wood stove in the ranch house, and tending a herd of 30 Hereford cattle, while attending school in Waldport, 19 miles from their home. As a teenager, he often walked the 11 miles down the river to Yachats on the coast. He became friends with all the various  families and characters who lived along the river during the 50s and 60s.  Before he graduated High School, his mother sent him to Woodburn to live with his great aunt and her family. They had horses, and Ben learned from an expert horseman how to tend and manage horses with a gentle aspect that he carried towards all animals throughout his life.

Ben got his GED and joined the Air Force in 1964, and was stationed at Little Rock AFB where he was put in charge of warehouse aircraft parts and supplies inventory, and had executive clearance. Upon honorable discharge he returned to Oregon. He was hired by Bonneville Power on a survey crew to survey for power lines along the Oregon side of the Columbia to Toledo. He spent his next years working as faller, crew supervisor, hook tender and yarder operator for a number of logging operators in Oregon and Southwest Washington, including Ben Thomas, clearing blowdown from the Mt. St. Helens eruption. He married and had two children, Clifford and Mellissa, who grew up both on the ranch on the Yachats River, and on homes near Amboy, near wherever he was working. Ben married Kathy Carey and helped raise her sons David and Darreld. His children and step children remember his affinity for, and love of animals, from their dog Ben-2, to his pet raccoon named K-2.

In his late 30s, Ben developed a blood disorder and underwent a number of vascular surgeries into his legs.  He had to stop logging, but he cut and split wood all his life. He managed condos in Lincoln City, Campers Hideaway near Ariel, raised wiener pigs with his brother-in-law, Rick Kramer near Amboy, and worked as manager in Psychologist Peter Lusky’s Office in Vancouver. With him, he raised and tended wolves, which they sold to other hobbyists who were as crazy as they were!  In 1992, Ben purchased his property in Venersborg, restored and rebuilt the 1911 home, mowed and landscaped with his beloved Kabota tractor, and tended peafowl, chickens, ducks, and later goats and pigs.  Daughter Mellissa introduced him to the schoolteacher living across the street from her in Yacolt in June of 1998, and he and Emily were married on April 3, 1999. Together they raised her daughter Madeline, and his grandson Collin. Not only was Ben a professional logger/mechanic/builder, he was also an expert baker and cook. He baked bread and pies for the family, canned strawberries, apples, peaches, meat and pickled eggs, and had dinner on the table every night when Emily arrived home exhausted after another day of teaching. Ben hunted and fished, was an expert shooter all his life.  His last dog was a border collie named Cecil; Ben would hit golf balls several times a day for seven years for Cecil to chase and retrieve across the property.

Ben and Emily also were able to indulge in wonderful travels; road trips across country, meeting dear friends from Emily’s college days. They took a fabulous trip to the eastern Mediterranean, Egypt, and Germany in 2010.

Ben avidly kept up on the news, loved reading, country music, dancing, cooking,  and especially directing and critiquing every member of his family, whether they heeded his guidance or not. He loved his family and anyone in his orbit beyond measure; people loved and cherished him back.

He is survived by his wife of 25 years, Emily, his brothers James Rosell and Garry Rosell of Williams Lake, BC, his sisters Nancy Kromar of Yachats, Georgina Kramer of Amboy, sister Judy (Larry Weibe) of Sahuarita, AZ, his brother William (Nenen) of Vancouver, WA, his son Clifford of Vancouver, daughter Mellissa (Chris) of Kalama, stepsons David Bachmeier (Jessica Timberlake) and Darreld Carey, grandchildren Ashley (Keith) Inman, Collin Meek, Cameron Meek, Ben Langenbach, Anna Marie Langenbach, Sophia Brigner, Bryton Brigner, step grandsons Jeffery and Kevin Bachmeier, and four great grandchildren, Cynthia Meek, Alek Inman, Addilynne and Aleaha Meek, and numerous nephews and nieces.  Ben was preceded in death by his beloved sister Diana in October of last year, and by his parents.

    A memorial service will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Vancouver, Washington on April 3, at 4 pm. Donations in his name to the National Wildlife Federation or other organizations promoting sustainable wildlife preservation and management, would be appreciated.