That is an odd title for a blog post. There was a time when I could not have ever imagined writing something like that. Unfortunately, these last 9 months have not been that time. So here goes:
Ben “The Titan” Saint-Onge
March 13, 1969 – January 13, 2016
Ben Saint-Onge, our strong, steadfast, unbreakable “Titan”, took his last breath peacefully at home on January 13, 2016, surrounded by his beloved wife and children. Ben leaves behind Wendy, his one true love. He also unwillingly leaves behind his main man Zak (son), and beautiful daughters Jaime and Raegan. All four brought immense light and joy into his life.
Ben grew up in Eastern Canada and joined the RCMP in 1992. This where he met a “smoking” young Wendy while at the Police Academy in Regina, SK. Ben’s first posting was to Gibsons, BC in 1993. It was here that he proposed to his sweetheart, and on September 24, 1994 they married and began their life journey together. Ben and Wendy joyfully added Zak to their family in 1996, followed by Jaime in 1999. Raegan’s arrival in 2001 completed their family.
Many civilian friends will be unaware of Ben’s truly exceptional career as a police officer with the RCMP. On the Sunshine Coast he was known as “Gentle Ben” – tough, but kind and fair. In 1997 he transferred to Langley Detachment, where he served as a uniformed member before developing a specialty in drug investigations. Ben spent the last fourteen years of his career in various specialized sections (during which time he was deservingly promoted), continuing to serve and protect in ways that the general public couldn’t understand but should gratefully appreciate. He was a gifted police officer, sought out for his skills as both an investigator and a teacher. As well, Ben received special recognition over the course of his 23 year career from both the RCMP and other police forces and families of victims.
Ben did not take lightly his time away from home and family; however, he knew that his efforts truly saved lives, brought justice, and positively impacted the communities in which he worked. Ben loved his job and his colleagues and was devastated when his illness made it impossible for him to continue. The people he worked with were not just his friends; they were his brothers and his sisters.
Forever missing Ben are his parents: father Ben Sr. (Diana), mother Myrna (Doug), and Robin and Maureen Insley, who loved Ben as surely, deeply, and truly as any parents ever could.
Ben will be desperately missed by his sisters: Michelle (Cameron, Kelsey, Harper, Darcy), Lisa (Brett, Brendan, Jenna), and Barbara (Makeda).
Finally, Ben leaves behind his “family by choice”: Jeff Scott, Nancy Birbeck , Beth Leatherdale, Mario Bourdages, Connie and Kirby Smith, and Dennis Ripley. There are countless others whom he loved, who loved him through years of joy and sorrow, and who never wavered in their support.
Our family is forever indebted to some very special people who helped care for Ben during his knock-down, drag-out, body-slamming fight with cancer (with a small “c”). Dr. Pippa Hawley and Dr. Christian Kollmannsberger patiently fielded our endless questions with professionalism and respect. They understood what needed to be said and when to say it.
It is very important to us to draw specific attention to Dr. Andre Bredenkamp. Our gratitude towards our “Dr B” knows no bounds. You came alongside us in our struggle and let us lean on you. We deeply appreciate the personal sacrifices you made to care for Ben and our entire family. It comforts us to know that Ben was in the best possible hands and received the best possible care.
For their gentleness, wisdom and kindness, their infinite patience and intimate understanding during Ben’s care, we are so grateful to Julie Bourdages, Leanne Upton, Marlene Upton, and Whitney Traversy. For their reliability and helpfulness throughout this entire ordeal, we deeply thank Sharon Woodburn and Paula McCaffrey, who never failed us when it came to obtaining medications and equipment. You will never know how deeply we appreciate all of you.
In lieu of flowers or gifts, please consider a donation to The Last Door recovery center (www.lastdoor.org/donate), a registered charity that was extremely personal and important to Ben. Alternately, donations may also be made in Ben’s name to bccancerfoundation.com. Donations in Ben’s name will be directed to the Personalized Onco-Genomonics (POG) clinical trials program.
Ben felt that Bruce Lee said it best: “Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one.”
Farewell my sweet man, until we meet again. I will honour your memory always, and I promise you I will take care of our children with the same love, kindness and patience as you always did. (ok, technically I may not be as patient as you, but I promise I will try.) Thank you for choosing me. Rock out with Jimmy Hendrix, my love.
A Celebration of a Life Well-Lived for “The Titan” will be held at 1:00 p.m. on January 22, 2016, at Victory Memorial Park, 14831 28th Avenue in South Surrey. Reception to follow immediately afterwards.
Messages of condolence and favourite memories of Ben may be left at www.victoryfuneralcentre.ca where they will be compiled into a book for the family.