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Benjamin Gary Brubaker, 52, Homer City, died unexpectedly of sudden cardiac failure on Monday, July 1, 2019.

The son of the Rev. George Gary and Edith Joewan (Lockard) Brubaker, he was born May 24, 1967, in Beckley, W.Va.

Ben was a graduate of Homer-Center High School. He also attended Indiana University of Pennsylvania and earned his bachelor’s degree from Thiel College and continued a lifelong study of philosophy.

Ben was employed by The Caring Heart Inc. as a general manager for 17 years. He founded Lids for Kids, which supplied free bicycle helmets to local children. Ben was passionate about books and encouraged others to read. He shared his love for books during his time at Greensburg Barnes & Noble. While there, Ben loved playing characters such as Hagrid and Santa Claus and was quite convincing.

”What am I to say, as his sister, about my deceased brother? A man that I spent my childhood with, got into trouble with and love. It is incredibly unfair that I have to say anything at all because it means that it is final. Ben felt that he had nothing to leave his family. It is true that he did not have tons of worldly goods, but he left a lot of goodness behind. He was a kind man. In fact, he was known for his kindness, unending patience and optimism. Ben was a wonderful son, brother, uncle and husband. He could make you laugh and was incredibly supportive. I know one thing for sure, I am going to miss him terribly.”

Surviving are his mother, Edith Joewan Brubaker, Homer City; wife Gretchen (Morris) Brubaker, Homer City; stepchildren: Hayden and Cassandra Michael, both of Homer City; and Damian Michael, Rome, N.Y.; sister Chara Thomas and her husband, Richard; niece Lauren Thomas and a nephew Brennan Thomas, all of New Alexandria; uncles and aunts, Royden Lockard and Joyce Forni, Indiana; Russell and Sondra Lockard, Homer City; Roger and Kathy Lute, Northern Cambria; and Tom and Donna Brubaker, Indiana; cousins, Richard and Anne Lockard, Minnesota; Jeff Lockard, Homer City; Scott Lockard, Homer City; Heather (Lockard) and Mark Wheeler, Maryland; Jennifer (Lockard) and Dan Kenney, Maryland; Scott and Melaney Brubaker, Home; Aaron and Becky Brubaker, Virginia; Jason Brubaker, Vandergrift; Tim Brubaker, York; Lisa Brubaker; and Valerie Gallagher (Brubaker), Willow Street; Helen Henry, Cherry Tree; Christine Henry Payne; Becky Henry; the Watson and Kathryn Campbell family, Blairsville; and the James and Mildred George Family, Homer City.

Benjamin was preceded in death by his father, the Rev. George Gary Brubaker, maternal grandparents Russell T. and Nellie (Lockard) Fair; paternal grandparents Russell L. and Josephine Brubaker; his uncle the Rev. Russell Brubaker, and his cousin Richard Lockard.

A memorial will be held at a later date and details will be made available through Facebook.

A Fundly page has been set up on Facebook to help with funeral expenses.