Ben Setliff, 94, of Blue Ridge, Tx and formerly of Amarillo and Borger passed from time to Eternity early Tuesday morning, August 13, 2013 at home in Blue Ridge.
Services will be held at 3:00 pm on Friday, August 16, 2013 in the Chapel of Kornerstone Funeral Directors, 3605 S.W. 3rd Street, Plainview, TX with longtime family friend Warlick Thomas presiding. Interment will immediately follow at Plainview Memorial Park. Visitation is Thursday, August 15, 2013, from 7:00 to 8:30 pm also at Kornerstone Funeral Directors in Plainview.
Ben was born in Creta, Oklahoma, on November 29, 1918 to Benjamin Smithers and Julia Alethea Setliff. He was the 8th of 12 children. His parents moved the family to Eldorado, Oklahoma where they farmed. Benâ€™s father and older sisters taught school nearby. Ben graduated from Eldorado High School in 1936. He had a thirst for knowledge and was a life-time learner but his fatherâ€™s untimely death when Ben was 18 prevented him from immediately attending college upon graduation. He helped on the family farm for several years then his adventuresome spirit prompted him to hop a freight train and make his way to California. He worked at various jobs in California and Dallas before joining the Army Air Corps as an Aviation Cadet on January 9, 1943. His graduation and commission took him to the European Theater of World War II where he served with the 62nd Troup Carrier Squadron along with many dedicated servicemen, some who remained life-long friends.
While serving in the Army Air Corps Ben flew C-47 aircraft. He participated in Operation Varsity (the Crossing of the Rhine towing a glider filled with combat soldiers. As part of the 62nd he also supplied Pattonâ€™s 3rd army. He was called back into active duty and served in Kunsan, Korea during the Korean Conflict, then continued in the Air Force Reserves until he retired as a Lt. Colonel in 1969.
After World War II Ben fulfilled his dream of going to college and graduated from Texas Technological College in Lubbock with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. It was at Texas Tech that he met the love of his life, Dorothy True. Ben and Dorothy married in Plainview on August 21, 1948, and celebrated 53 years of marriage before the Lord called Dorothy home in 2002. Their first child, Karol, was born in Amarillo where Ben was stationed at English Field after his Korean service.
Ben and Dorothy always enjoyed meeting new people and visiting new places. They moved to California in 1952 where Ben was predominantly an Aerospace Engineer and where three additional children were born â€“ Sandy, Stan and Melissa. Ben and Dorothy enjoyed exploring California with their children and camping all over the state. However, they always remained connected to their family in Texas making bi-annual trips back to the Lone Star State along Route 66. In 1969 they relocated back to Borger, Texas where Ben took a job as a Mechanical Engineer with JM Huber Corporation where he worked until he retired in 1983 as Plant Manager for Huber Hercules Equipment Division.
After retirement Ben and Dorothy enjoyed many travels and Ben took up Real Estate rehabbing as a hobby. His â€˜hobbyâ€™ prompted a move to Amarillo in the early 1990â€™s where he established a Real Estate partnership and was actively involved in Central Church of Christ. In 2009 he moved to Blue Ridge, Texas to live with daughter and son-in-law, Melissa and Dan Braughton and his 4 grandchildren Ben, Nathan, Abbie and Aaron.
Ben was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Dorothy; his daughter, Karol; his parents, and all but one of his siblings. He is survived by daughter, Sandy, of Anna, Texas; son, Stan, of Borger; daughter and son-in-law, Melissa and Dan Braughton; one brother, Duane Setliff, of Dallas; Grand children Kristina and Chris Carden of Mobile, AL; Jared and Abi Tomberlin of Colorado Springs, CO; Ben, Nathan, Abbie and Aaron Braughton of Blue Ridge, TX; and 4 great grandchildren, Matthew, Natalia, Charlotte and Ingrid Carden of Montgomery.
In lieu of flowers the family suggests memorials to A Time to Care of Amarillo, Texas.
Online condolences may be made at www.kornerstonefunerals.com