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Remembering Ben Wisckol

San Diego Union-Tribune obituary

Author Unknown | October 15, 2009

Ben Wisckol (Benson Alan Wisckol) deceased on 09/17/09 at age 74 in Northern California.

“Benson Wisckol's adventurous journey through life took him from the tropics to the tundra, from joke swapping to spiritual healing, and from competitive swimming to social activism. Through it all, nothing was more precious to him than those around him. Ben grew up in Detroit, where he discovered his love for swimming. The pursuit resulted in records during college, national rankings in adulthood, and many lifelong friendships. In college, he also began to explore his competitive spirit by shooting pool and playing poker. As he grew older, he may have traded his chips for Scrabble tiles and Boggle cubes, but his competitive hustle remained and earned him the family nickname "Riverboat."

Ben's life work focused on improving the lives and conditions of others, and pursuing a selfless vision of good and righteousness in the world. His activities included organizing for Non-Violent Action of San Diego during the Vietnam War; helping develop the award-winning Lifeline Social Services program in Vista, Calif.; working with foster-care programs to improve opportunities for children separated from their parents; and serving in prison ministries. Along the way, he provided opportunity and adventure for his own children. His open-hearted parenting inspired his children to allow their truest selves to blossom, yet he was readily available with support and generosity, with low-key advice and bargain-rate puns.

A spiritual calling led to a deep and unending study of faith and philosophy. He was a Christian Science practitioner for 30 years, helping innumerable others with metaphysical healings and a deepening connection with God. He called himself a recovering introvert. In hours upon hours of spiritual solitude, he built a spiritual connection and gentle strength that he would use to reach out to help and guide others. At the same time, he could exude a personable and direct charm. When he spoke to you, it was as though the words and thoughts and feelings were groomed for that specific occasion of interaction.

He was unashamed of his eccentricities and if his conversation should turn into storytelling, if the one person he was talking to should become three or four, his radiance would grow as would his daring with puns. Six people? Surely somebody would laugh out loud. Ben traveled the world and lived in several parts of California, but considered San Diego his home. He asked that his ashes not be buried, but scattered in the mountains and in the ocean. Carrying on his spirit are many friends and family members, including his wife, Kim; daughter, Mona; sons, Martin, Luke, Dan and Bob; grandsons, Ryder and Kellen, and nieces and nephews.”

from the San Diego Union-Tribune, Sunday, September 27, 2009, obituary

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