Benson Eastman Hardinger was born September 10th, 1924 in Leon, Iowa to Joseph Benson and Leana Marie Hardinger. After the deaths of his two sisters Mildred and Thelma, the family packed their Model T Ford and moved to the Boise valley in 1928. Ben attended Lowell Elementary and North Junior High and graduated from Boise High School in 1942.
On November 25th, 1942 Ben joined the United States Air Force and served with the 14th Air Force (Flying Tigers) in China. He was discharged on November 11th, 1945. Allowing for no moss to grow, Ben became engaged to Carol Ruth Hiller on November 12th. He and Carol were then married on December 9th, 1945. They were married for 55 wonderful years. Ben was a faithful employee of the State of Idaho in the Department of Transportation from 1946 to 1985.
Ben and Carol raised three children and were very active in each of their lives. Ben is survived by a daughter Kristie and her husband Steve Forrey who reside in McCall and their children, Amy and Caetano Rodamilans, Diego, Oliver, Erin Lowen; Zachary, Elijah, Seth, Jedediah, Magdelene and Gideon. Megan and Randy McLaughlin; Emma, Avery, Landen and Delaney. Mark and Brenda Hardinger of Meridian and their children, Katie Thompson; Carol and Alice; Travis Hardinger. Craig and Debbie Hardinger of Sacramento, CA and son Scott and Stephanie Hardinger; Silas and Linnea. Ben is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews whom he dearly loved.
Ben was known by an assortment of names. The name used revealed the relationship a person had with him. If you worked with him at the highway department, or fellowshipped at church, you knew him as Ben. If you were a relative, you knew him as Eastman. In later years, his care facility knew him only as Benson. Whether Benson, Eastman or Ben – no one seemed to care - he was loved and respected by all.
One of the greatest joys for Ben was making wooden furniture and toys for his children and grandchildren. He was an excellent fly fisherman and avid sportsman. He loved to play golf, hunt, photography and motorcycle riding with family and friends. Ben also had a wonderful singing voice and blessed many with several gospel hymns.
Ben is preceded in death by his wife Carol; his parents and sisters; brothers-in-law, Bud Schoenfeld and Robert Hiller and sisters-in-law Marilyn Schoenfeld and Betty Hiller.
Ben confessed Christ as Lord and Savior at the age of 10 and enjoyed the fellowship of many brothers and sisters in Christ throughout his years. He enjoyed the discipline of rising at 5:30 a.m. every morning for many decades to read and study his bible and pray for those he dearly loved.
Kids, grandkids, great-grandkids as well as extended family were the most important people in the world. Their visits “made his day.”
In lieu of flowers a donation to the charity of your choice would be appreciated.
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