Benjamin F. Thate

FAIRMONT – Funeral services for Benjamin F. Thate, 31, of Pierre, S.D., and Fairmont, Minn., will be 11 a.m. Monday, Jan. 21, 2013, at Bethel Evangelical Free Church in Fairmont. Burial will follow in Fairview Memorial Park Cemetery in Fairmont.

Ben passed away Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013, at his home in Pierre, S.D. Visitation will be 1-3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 20, 2013, at Lakeview Funeral Home in Fairmont, and will continue one hour prior to the time of service at the church on Monday.

Lakeview Funeral Home of Fairmont is assisting the family with arrangements.

Benjamin Forrest Thate was born Aug. 3, 1981, in Fairmont, Minn., the son of John and Jane (Cox) Thate. He attended Sunday school and church at Bethel Evangelical Free Church in Fairmont and attended school in Fairmont, graduating from Fairmont High School in 2000. Following his graduation, Ben began working with computers and attended Jackson Vo-Tech College for computers. He later attended SDSU in Brookings, S.D., where he earned his degree in civil engineering, graduating in 2007.

Ben was a hard worker and took great pride in doing a job well. He worked with his uncle Jim repairing and putting together computers for a short time, and also enjoyed working at Larry’s Bike Shop prior to attending school in Brookings. Ben worked as an intern at Bolton & Menk in Fairmont and, following the completion of his degree, he worked for the state of South Dakota in agriculture, and recently had transferred to the South Dakota Department of Transportation, where he was in charge of watersheds.

Ben developed his problem-solving skills at an early age while growing up on the family farm. As a young kid, Ben would race up and down his road in his go-cart and when it would break, he would take it to his neighbor Barry Klein’s house, where he would fix it and get it running again. He was never afraid to tinker with things and if he was unsure how to fix it, he would find a book to help him find a solution for the problem. Ben loved the outdoors and looked forward to time spent biking, camping, skiing, snowmobiling, hunting and going to the lake with friends. As a teenager, he found a passion for flying and even began lessons. Ben was adventurous and his life shined for 31 years. He will be greatly missed by those that loved him and called him friend.

Left to cherish his memory are his parents, John and Jane Thate of Fairmont, Minn.; brother, Josh Thate; sister, Sarah Thate; grandfather, William Thate; special friend, Rebecca Cruse; three nephews, Jordan Kimmet, Caleb Kimmet and Maxwell Thate; three nieces, Lilian Thate, Katlyn Clinton, and Isabella Clinton; aunts and uncles, Norman Abel, Connie (John) Mundy, Jerry (Karen) Cox, Jim Cox, Mary (Tim) Conrady, Jean (Terry) Maakestad, Jim (Katina) Thate, Colleen (David) Ternberg, David (Kelly) Thate, Cheri McAdams and Dave Dobie, Cathy (Gary) Scott, Joe (Christina) Thate; as well as many other cousins, extended family and friends.

Ben was preceded in death by his grandparents, Roy and Viola Cox, and Helen Thate; and two aunts, Sue Abel and Lois Cox.