Benjamen (Ben) Lauren was “born for this.” He reminded everyone within shouting distance of that every time the tone of the pager called him to duty. Ben was a third-generation volunteer firefighter and grew up helping and participating at the Forsyth Township Fire Station located in Gwinn, Michigan, the center of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
Ben was a get-the-job done kind of guy who as a small boy began doing the chores farm kids do. He loved the haying season where a day filled with work and laughter with cousins and family would undoubtedly turn into star-filled evenings of joyful chatter under the favorite maple tree of the family farm. Ben loved to laugh and goof around, but working was his play.
Ben’s interests were plentiful, but his premiere fascination was the volunteer fire department. He and his siblings were often “on-scene” in their car seats as little babes, watching their dad. Ben enjoyed the big trucks and the flashing lights. As he matured, his fascination became determination. He joined the fire department as a cadet at age 14, certified as a firefighter at age 18, and then became a captain at age 22. He was a man of moral integrity, passion, and a work ethic that was applauded within the community. Even as a young man, Ben was a leader. He was determined to learn and succeed and took pride in his work and actions. Ben was unwavering in his ability to enjoy each day and was always willing to help a friend or stranger. He would shrug off any praise stating, “It’s just what we do. Pass it on!” His strong Christian faith was easily displayed in his actions.
Ben’s long work hours didn’t bend his smile. He was known for the joy he brought into the room when he entered. Ben entertained himself and laughed the hardest at his own “dad” jokes. He was a lover of country music and used music and songs to bare his heart. Every song had a message he would use to share his feelings. He was a teaser, a joker, and a loyal friend. He was a go getter that held a presence well beyond his young years. He had a contagious smile that drew babies to his arms and respect from his elders. Ben had a positive impact with everyone he interacted with.
Ben lived a life chock full of memories, but the unmade memories are the hardest to bear. Along with his community, fellow firefighters, friends, and close-knit family, Ben is grieved by his parents, Ron and Carla, and by his two siblings, Tori and Levi Lauren.