On May 7, 1935, he was born in Elwood, Ind., to Francis A. ‘Abb’ and Marybelle (Fish) Stage. He married Mary Downham on July 27, 1962, in Elwood. They moved to Warsaw in 1968 where they remained for 45 years.
He graduated from Elwood High School in 1954, where he achieved All State Tackle on the Elwood Panthers football team. He joined the U.S. Marine Corps., which he served during the Korean Conflict. He was a member of G Company 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines 2nd Marine Division where he was a 30 caliber machine gunner.
He was a retired carpenter/siding applicator for over 45 years. He was a member of the Warsaw Church of Christ, American Legion Post #49, Warsaw and VFW Post #1126, Warsaw for many years. His greatest love was his family, the outdoors and his garden.
Ben is survived by his wife; a daughter: Torie Wilkins, Goshen, Ind.; a son: Benny R. (Theresa) Stage, Claypool, Ind.; six grandchildren: Benny Stage III, Warsaw; Donald C. Stage, Claypool; Miranda N. Stage, Claypool; Jerry D. Wilkins, Warsaw; Nickolas E. Wilkins, Warsaw; Sandra Lyn Hall, Goshen; five great-grandchildren: Noah L. Wilkins, Abigail R. Hall, Tanner E. Wilkins, Emma Wilkins, Bryson ‘Kip’ Wilkins; and one sister: Joyce A. Chambers.
He was preceded in death by his mother and father; a daughter: Patty Diane Stage; brother: Donald E. Stage; and two sisters: Mary Francis Snyder and Verna J. Jackson.
There is no visitation hours planned. A graveside service will be at 12 p.m. on Thursday, March 28, at Oakwood Cemetery, Warsaw with military honors provided by the U.S. Marine Corps.
Memorial contributions may be made to Warsaw Church of Christ, 1902 East Main Street, Warsaw, IN 46580 or to Kosciusko Homecare and Hospice, P.O. Box 1196, Warsaw, IN 46581-1196.