Ben Lee Fairchild

November 23, 1934October 4, 2021

Ben was born November 22, 1934 to Virgil and Edna Fairchild in El Centro, Ca and passed away peacefully at home in Merced, Ca October 4, 2021. He was 86 years old.

The family lived in Southern California until May of 1948 when they moved to Farnsworth Dairy in Planada. Ben attended Le Grand High School. He enlisted in the Navy in 1955 and served in the South Pacific on the USS Walke. When he returned home he married Carol Lute on April 11, 1959. Ben worked at the family business, Lute’s Market in Planada. Later he worked at Happy Valley Conference Grounds in Santa Cruz. He acquired many friends at both that he considered extended family. He served the Planada Fire Department as a volunteer for over 20 years. He was a member of the Planada Elementary School Board where his children attended. Ben spent many good times camping, boating, bowling, playing cards and traveling with friends and family.

He is preceded in death by Son, Greg Fairchild. Parents, Virgil and Edna Fairchild, Sisters, Emmie Vineyard, Cynthia Susan Fairchild(baby twin of Mike).

He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Carol Fairchild. Daughters, Lori Hamblin (Mark) and Kelli Cochran (Matthew). Brother, Mike Fairchild (Karen) and Cousin, Chauncey Bayes (Nina). Sister, Nancy Green. Grandchildren, Jennifer, Daniel, Branden, Valerie, Jill, T.J., Maddie, Karr, Rachel and 11 Great Grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held Monday, October 18 at 11:00 a.m. at Merced Church of Christ, 2050 Yosemite Parkway, Merced, Ca 95340.

Thank you to Hinds Hospice and family members for your care.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at for the Fairchild family.


  • Memorial Service

    Monday, October 18, 2021


Ben Lee Fairchild

have a memory or condolence to add?

Julio Bernal

October 11, 2021

My deepest condolences to the entire family.
I call this “Just your size, they are good shoes”
Many years ago the place of choice where my family shopped was Lute’s Market. We didn’t only shop for food there but also for other essential necessities. I remember not being the most popular kid.
My dad and mom struggling to make ends meet. I didn’t know it back then, I but i do know now. Well one year 1976-1977sh I decided to go out for the basketball team yes I wanted to be a basketball player for the Planada Tigers. The day of the tryouts I went in some shorts(cutoff) a t-shirt and for shoes I showed up with some soccer shoe that I cut the cleats off to make them look like tennis shoes. I didn’t care I just wanted to be part of something. My dad did find out a few days later what I had done. So he gave me 7 dollars so I can go buy tennis shoes at Lute’s market. As I walk around in the store looking for the shoes, Mr Fairchild was stocking shelves by the shoes. He came over and helped me find my size, when we found just my size, he looked me straight in the eye and said “just your size, they are good shoes”. I gave him my 7 dollars and took me to the register and said that’s it. So I left proud and with a brand new pair of tennis. I went back to the tryouts sporting a brand new pair of Lute’s special, that’s what everyone calles them. Then I figured out that they were making fun of me because I but them at the local market. Every time some would say that I could hear Mr. Fairchild words “just your size they are good shoes”. He no help fight of negativity.
To this day I think I didn’t have enough to buy the shoes.
That how I remember Mr Fairchild.

Katherine & Joe McLeister

October 10, 2021

Ben was always ready to help with a smile on his face. He loved his family. I have many good memories of Ben and thankful that he was part of my life. Love and hugs to Carol and family. Kathy