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Ben Wald

July 8, 1936 — May 4, 2012

My husband was born in Worcester, Mass.

Even though he spent most of his life on the West Coast, he remained a diehard Boston Red Sox fan, taking great pleasure watching his team beat the New York Yankees.

Ben attended University of California, Los Angeles, and extended his allegiance to its basketball teams. Coach John Wooden became a mentor. Ben often talked to me, friends and family of Wooden’s words of wisdom: “Whether on the court or in the game of life, learn the fundamentals — practice, practice, practice. When you need to perform on game day or in your daily life, you’ll be ready to take the ball.”

Ben spent 35 years as a counselor helping children and adults learn fundamental skills to help them deal with life’s experiences. After retiring he wanted to do something to help prevent some of the emotional problems we all face. The bottom line for him was the importance of early nurturing and unconditional love.

He often talked about having a national children’s day in Washington, D.C.: singers and poets, children and adults gathering together to reaffirm the need for nurturing each other — the child within each of us. I hope one day we have that children’s day.

Ben and I have a daughter, Bonnie. Like her father, she has a great sense of humor, is very curious, and loves interacting with kids and adults.

Ben loved to garden, and from the time Bonnie could sit up, he carried her out to the garden. Over the years, he loved feeding her peas, cherry tomatoes and green beans off the vine. Every year he grew pumpkins for Halloween. Bonnie told me that Dad has gone to Heaven and is gardening. We miss him very much.

Bonnie and I are planning a garden-theme party this summer for friends and family to celebrate Ben.

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