Benjamin C. Sackman, son of Jacob and Salomena Sackman, was born August 11, 1922 in Ashley, North Dakota. He was the eleventh child in a family of fourteen. At the age of one, the family moved to a farm south of Fallon, Montana. Ben attended the Jones Grade School and Mildred High School.
On March 7, 1948, Benjamin married Carrie Marie Fotland of Terry at the Fallon Evangelical Church. The first twelve years of their married life were lived in Fallon. From 1947 to 1951 Ben owned and operated Sackman’s Grocery with the motto “Save Pennies at Benny’s”. Ben also owned and drove the school bus from Fallon to Terry High School, farmed and ranched. During this time, their five children were born. Sherrie Lou, Douglas Lee (deceased), Sandra Sue, Susan Rae, and Walter Martin.
In 1960 the family moved to Billings, Montana. Ben was employed by Miracle Gas, which became Tuloma Gas, then Amoco Oil Company (now BP). Ben became an agent which he called Amogas. In 1975 Amoco Oil Company sold their Billings Propane plant to Big Sky Propane, Inc of which Ben was President. Ben was active in Big Sky Propane from 1975 till he sold the business in November, 1989 when he and Carrie retired.
After retirement, they took memorable trips with their family and close friends. Ben enjoyed horses and began raising registered quarter horses. He received a trophy and numerous ribbons from showing his horses. Ben loved spending time with his family celebrating many birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, weddings and graduations.
In 1968, Ben became a Christian and a Charter member of Westside Evangelical Church later named Faith Evangelical Church. In 1985 he became a member of the First Evangelical Free Church where he attended the past twenty-five years. Ben has been head usher for many years in church and a number of citywide Crusades. He’s said to have been ‘one of the best’. Ben loved to read his Bible. Reading it through from cover to cover each year for over 15 years is a legacy his children and grandchildren will always cherish.
Ben and Carrie celebrated their 62nd wedding anniversary on March 7, 2010. In 2003 they sold their home of 26 years and moved in with their daughter and son-in-law. Last August, Ben fell and was hospitalized, returning home under the care of Rocky Mountain Hospice. Ben experienced God’s love, kindness and goodness through the care he received. Amazing love! God took him home Thursday, July 15th at 5 pm, just at ‘Supper Time’, the song that always brought tears to his eyes remembering his mother calling the family for supper. “God is never early but He is never late: His timing is perfect”. How like God to call Ben home at ‘supper time’.
“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those that love Him” (1st Corinthians 2:9). Christ has gone to prepare a place for us and we shall forever dwell in “the great city, the holy Jerusalem descending out of Heaven from God” (Rev 21:2). What a tremendous future to look forward to at the end of our lives for those who love God. God is faithful. Ben would want to share the precious words of his earthly father, “Take Jesus with you, not only in your head but in your heart too”.
Ben is survived by his wife, Carrie of Billings; his children: Sherrie (Philip) Richert of Billings, Sandra (John) Schneider of Portland, OR, Susan (Kenneth) Balster of Billings, and Walter (Doreen) Sackman of Couer D’Alene, ID; 10 grandchildren: RaShelle (Mark) Kirby, Nathan (Kristin) Richert, Kari Ann (Jason) Koller, Benjamin (Misty) Schneider, Douglas (Danielle) Schneider, Joshua (Nicole) Balster, Christopher Balster, Tiffany (Matthew) Bonner, Lindsay (Aaron) Laird, and Lisa Sackman; 8 great-grandchildren: Ethan Kirby, Jason Jr. and Kennedy Koller, Benjamin Jr. and Magdalena Schneider, Danyon Schneider, Raegan and Austin Laird. Surviving sisters are: Barbara Patterson of Powell, Esther Sackman and Rachel Ruff of Billings, and Max Guidice of Miles City. Ben was preceded in death by his son, Douglas Lee Sackman; his parents, Jacob and Salomena Sackman; brothers and sisters: Emma Knopp, John Sackman, Fred Sackman, Sally Hoffer, Albert Sackman, Connie Burns, Betty Day, Alvin Sackman, and Walter Sackman.
Memorials may be sent to First Evangelical Free Church, 401 Custer Ave, Billings, MT 59101 or Rocky Mountain Hospice of Billings.
Published July 21, 2010