Ben spent his first 1 & 1/2 years living among the Giant Sequoias, where his parents, John and Mary, had met as seasonal workers. Maybe it was there in the Sierra Mountains in his developing brain that his appreciation and wonder for the world and his desire to see more of it was planted.

By two, Ben was living in Atascadero, where his brother Matt had now made him a proud big brother. It was a role he would continue to relish and hold close to his heart throughout the rest of his time here. Ben attended Atascadero schools from Kindergarten through high school graduation. Some of those friendships made there remain today.

UC Davis was Ben’s first chance to stretch his wings. He thrived as always in his social life, adding to a core group of friends, but the competitive academic environment was something he had to adjust to. During a semester abroad in Chile, his love of travel ignited. While there, he visited Machu Pichu and Tierra del Fuego. Upon graduation, having been inspired by a professor at Davis, Ben decided to become a Peace Corps volunteer.

Having graduated with a major in Psychology and a minor in Spanish, Ben was hoping for a location in a Spanish-speaking country. He wanted to connect more deeply with his quarter-Mexican heritage (which was not easily obvious, being such a white boy). China, however, was in the cards for Ben, and he was off to Asia for two years. Here, again, deep friendships were made. When he finished his commitment, he trekked with a fellow volunteer through Thailand, India, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Tibet, and Malaysia, to name a few.

After returning home briefly, Ben returned abroad to South Korea. This time was for a stint teaching English to elementary students in private schools. Here, he added to his lifelong friend’s group, generating future visits to Wales, Scotland, and England.

Ben returned to the Central Coast. By this time, he was so very appreciative of our own local beauty that he had been so ready to leave and now was ready to stay. Upon returning, he was able to reconnect to friends in their new roles in life in ways old and new, playing Magic Cards, disc golf, family barbeques, and being honorary Uncle Ben. Ben worked as a reading specialist and tutor for several years and most recently was employed by the Family Care Network. Ben enjoyed helping people. He was a caring and empathetic person and took joy in seeing people succeed.

Ben’s physical presence will be sorely missed, but he will live on in the hearts of his parents, John and Mary; his brother Matt; sister-in-law Chelsea and their children Luke and Liam; and extended uncles, aunts, cousins, and friends near and far. Ben will have waiting for him both sets of loving grandparents and Uncle David and Godmother Linda.

The family truly appreciates all the kindness and love people have shown us. Thank you, we are very grateful.

Our dear Ben, Enjoy your bird’s eye view.

Loving memories of Benjamin Blair will linger long after his last breath. We encourage you to join us in celebrating him on March 2 at the Pavilion on the Lake, 9315 Pismo Avenue, Atascadero, from 1-3.