The things that matter

I made a reference in a post last week about a colleague’s husband who greeted news that his cancer had metastasized into his brain with “okee dokee” — two simple words (or maybe it’s one) that can inspire — do inspire — the rest of us to consider the perspectives of life.

His name was Ben Blat and he passed away yesterday.

Blat, Benjamin R

Age 41, of Minneapolis was called Home by his King and Friend on November 4, 2012. Survived by his adoring wife Amy Hyatt-Blat; parents Alan and Jean; brother Robert (Jenni); nephew Owen and niece Sydni. Ben’s legacy also includes Amy’s nieces Caitlin and Lauren and the special children of the Sunday Morning Friends classroom at Mount Olivet Lutheran Church.

It’s a good thing Ben was a personal trainer at the St. Paul Eastside YMCA because he never met a snack he didn’t like. A lifelong swimmer, Ben swam with the Masters program at the U and with sea lions in Maui. He was a gracious volunteer at Minnesota Public Radio events, his blue eyes and huge smile greeted guests from the Fitzgerald Theater to the Minnesota State Fair. Known to many as “Ben the Bear”, he was a big, gentle, kind and joyful soul who truly loved his Lord, his “Honey”, his family and his friends, both old and soon-to-be. Favorite spots included the front pew, any grill, Lake Harriet, COP and Jim’s poker table. Ben graduated with honors from Emory University in Atlanta with a degree in biology.

High-fives and bear hugs to Dr. Schneider and his band of champions at the HealthPartners Riverside Cancer Care Center, recipients of Ben’s gratitude, bagels and standard “okey-dokey” response over the last five months of treatment.

Ben’s wife, a professional event manager, plans to continue keeping him on her volunteer roster and assign him the role of “Sunshine Provider” for all of her future events.

Visitation 4-7 PM Thursday, Nov. 8 at Washburn-McReavy Edina Chapel, W. 50th Street & Vernon Avenue at Hwy. 100. Memorial service 11 AM Friday, Nov. 9 at Mt. Olivet Lutheran Church, 50th & Knox Ave. S. Mpls. Bowties are encouraged for memorial service. Private interment Lakewood Cemetery. Should friends desire, contributions may be sent to the family. Edina Chapel 952-920-3996.

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