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1952 ~ 2024 (age 71) 71 Years Old
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Benjamin Andrew Kleinbach was born in Billings, MT., the only son of Barbara and Benjamin Kleinbach, joining four sisters: Joan, Michal, Katherine and Patricia. The next year the family moved to a housing project between Palmer and Anchorage, Alaska, where his chronic ear infections led to a life-long love of music, as his sisters soothed him by walking him while listening to their classical music collection. By the time he was ready for school in Fairbanks, AK he knew the titles and composers of each selection.
Though he was never officially diagnosed as autistic, his family recognized his unique abilities as similar to those in the movie ‘Rain Man’ and celebrated and encouraged his encyclopedic knowledge of composers, conductors and the music they created. And, of course, he loved to tease his 4 older sisters with puns and typical little-brother nonsense!
He struggled through traditional schooling, but loved to read, especially history and current events and continued to expand his vinyl and CD collection. The sisters married and moved away and after his father died, he and his Mother moved to St. Albans, WV for a time. His Mother reconnected with friends in Canada leading to her marriage to Selmer Christensen and their life in Forestburg and Camrose, AB, Canada. He found companionship and training at Centre Cam and served many years as the ‘Librarian’ for the Toy Lending Library there and shared his extensive collection of music with the church.
After his Mother moved to Bethany, he found living alone a challenge, even with caregivers, and eventually moved to the Bethany Care Center where he was well cared for until he died of complications of Covid January 4, 2024, joining his parents and beloved sister, Patricia Lynn Verdal, with the saints and angels in heaven where he has undoubtedly become “Heaven’s D.J.!”
A private Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.