Benjamin David Pattee
June 2, 1953 – March 29, 2021
“I love him and I feel so blessed to have had him in my life.” Could there be any better words said to a man by his children, grandchildren, or in-laws, especially at the end of a life in which devotion to family was his essence? This is the phrase vibrating through the entire family of Benjamin Pattee, who died Monday, March 29, at the age of 67. And loved he was. His wife, Daphne, who met Benjamin in junior high school, fell in love at first sight with this quiet, thoughtful young man who had a penchant for “doing for others.” She spent over 50 years married to Benjamin and claimed that his greatest accomplishment was creating “the most wonderful family unit you could ever want.” Benjamin worked as a cement finisher and recently at an auto auction, and aside from his career, Daphne shared that Benjamin also had pride in his many projects which he did with a keen eye for perfection. “If it wasn’t perfect, it wasn’t done!” she declares. Their son, Eric, remembers his dad’s integrity, humility, and generosity. Benjamin also instilled a hard-work ethic, the virtue of acceptance, and the appreciation of good music in his son. Especially meaningful to Eric were the times his dad and mom enthusiastically attended Eric’s band performances (gigs). Hockey, camping, shooting (Benjamin had amazing accuracy), were also common pastimes of father and son. Enjoying cigars and bourbon together was also a favorite activity! His daughter-in-law, Renee, claims that Benjamin showed her that “blood was not always thicker than water.” He was much more than a father-in-law to Renee; “he was my dad too,” she declares. Grandchildren, Drake, Julia, and Ethan, agree that Benjamin excelled at grand parenting. “He was the best grandpa I could ask for,” says Ethan. Fond memories of bon fires, drive-in movies, shooting, vacationing, and building things with Benjamin abound in all the grandchildren. Being described as a “motorhead” by grandson Drake, he related that Benjamin even rebuilt a MGB from the ground up, pouring his blood, sweat, and tears into the car, and even receiving notoriety for it in car magazines. But that did not prevent Benjamin from teaching all three (nervous) grandchildren to drive a stick shift in that very car, a testament to love if there ever was one. All members of Benjamin’s family join together in remembrance of Benjamin’s dry sense of humor, an “art” his granddaughter Julia claims he passed on to her. They all remember his love of hot dogs, Spam (who likes Spam? they declare!), and other “terrible-for-you foods.” Benjamin is also remembered by all for “appreciating a good nap” --especially with the cat. He loved doing puzzles and car models. Benjamin was also universally known for his discipline about going to bed early. “It’s my bedtime,” Benjamin would declare at his regularly scheduled time. And although, prophetically, one final “it’s my bedtime” may have arrived for Benjamin, not to worry, he will be remembered in innumerable waking moments by a devoted family that will continue celebrating his life’s story.
Benjamin David Pattee was born June 2, 1953 to Delbert and Thelma Pattee and joined them in death on March 29, 2021, along with sister, Charlotte Reid. He is lovingly survived by his wife Daphne; son Eric (Renee); grandchildren Drake (fiancé Abby Pellegrin), Julia, and Ethan; brothers William (Margie), Daniel (Cheryl); father-in-law Elmer Graff; mother-in-law Judy Graff; brother-in-law Greg Graff (Andrea); and sister-in-law Jan Borghini (Larry).
Benjamin’s family will receive guests Thursday, April 1 from 3 to 8 pm at Reigle Funeral Home, 5501 W. Pierson Road, Flushing, MI. Memorial services will be private.
Those desiring to make contributions can do so to the Michigan Sportsman Against Hunger, 28401 Mound Road, Warren, MI 48090 or the American Heart Association, American Center, 27777 Franklin Road #1150, Southfield, MI 48034.
Thursday, April 1, 2021
Benjamin David Pattee
Jim & Barb Sartor
April 2, 2021
We love you sooo much Daphnee & send or prayers from Florida!! Or we’d be there with hugs !! Please know you’re in our thoughts 🥲see you soon !!
April 1, 2021
One of the finest men I have ever known was taken far too soon from us. I met Ben on his first day at the Flint Auto Auction and we almost instantly became friends. Ben was so impressive we all knew he would be a leader at the auction and he was. More than all of that we all knew just how much Ben loved his family. Thank you to his family for sharing Ben with us. He will be missed but not forgotten.
March 31, 2021
Ben was the brother I never had. Some of the best times of my life were with him. Camping with Ben and Daphne, fun on the beach or just hanging out listening to music were the fondest memories of my early years. I can’t really put into words how much of an impact he had on my life. So I guess the best thing to say is just, I will miss him so much! I love you my brother!!