Ben Robert Sylvester died peacefully at his home in Roy, UT on November 25th, 2020 at the age of 65, surrounded by his family.
Ben is survived by his wife, Julie (Newblod) Sylvester; children, Tom Sylvester, Quinn Kunz, Ryan Kunz, & Heather Chojnowski; siblings, Mike Sylvester of Shreveport, LA, Jan Shaw of Ogden, UT; and 13 grandchildren and one great-grandchild. He is preceded in death by his parents Russell & Vivian Sylvester of South Ogden; brother Steve Sylvester of Cornville, AZ; and lifelong friend Kyle Peterson of South Ogden, Utah.
Ben was born on February 16th, 1955 in Valdosta, GA to Russell and Vivian Sylvester.
Throughout his childhood he had the opportunity to grow up in other states & countries as his father was serving his entire career in the Air Force, retiring as a Major. Most notable to Ben was the time he spent in Japan where he attended 1st and 2nd grade. He also lived in Texas and Georgia for a time before his family permanently located in South Ogden, Utah.
He graduated from Bonneville High in 1973 and took some additional courses at Weber State.
He married the love of his life Julie Sylvester in 1984 and had an adventurous marriage of 36 years.
He remained in the North Wasatch Valley living in Ogden, Layton and Roy. Ben had a lifelong career at Western Zirconium for 34 years, serving several roles notably as a control operator and technical writer.
Ben was a loving father to his son Tom and his three stepchildren Quinn, Ryan and Heather. His children remember him as a very witty and deep thinker with a rich vocabulary and a passion for war history.
Ben was an avid adventurer who was passionate about long road trips on the Harley Davidson FLHT - Electra Glide with Julie, either heading out solo or in group rides. He enjoyed exploring the unbeaten path and rolling up to remote biker bars along the way. There may have been one or two that pushed the comfort zone for Julie, but for Ben this was part of the adventure. When they were unable to take the Harley, they would load up the RV with Ben’s favorite four-legged companion(s) Ori & Maxwell, and hit the road. They explored all across North America finding remote hotels or RV parks and taking in the breathtaking views. An annual event was to attend the Oyster Grass Music Festival in Kemmerer, WY with their friends Neldon & Marlene Wilson. A favorite resting spot was at the family lake property in Glendale, ID where they could relax with family and enjoy the long summer days. He will be most remembered by the phrase: EVERYBODY LOVES BEN!
In 2001 Ben found out that he had a rare genetic disorder called alpha one antitrypsin deficiency which caused his lungs to liquify in his body. On January 24th, 2002 he was fortunate to find a lung donor after only being on the list nine days. He was very blessed to have gained 19 additional years of adventure with his loving wife and family and was always grateful for this wonderful gift of extended life. For the last 15 years he was in constant topical maintenance of Squamous Carcinoma before it migrated internally 11 months ago where it spread to his liver, spine and donor lung.
A Celebration of Life will be held in Ben’s remembrance on Friday, December 11, 2020 from 2:00-7:00 PM at The Monarch (455 25th St Suite 301, Ogden, UT 84401), where refreshments will be served. Attire will be casual with tie-dye and jeans preferred (Grateful Dead Theme). All are welcome to attend and celebrate Ben's life. Due to COVID-19, social distancing must be observed, and masks must be worn.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Donate Life America: https://www.classy.org/give/208615/#!/donation/checkout.
The family would like to thank caregivers Jeri, Lindsey and Heidi from Hearts for Hospice for all the love and support during his last days.