Ben’s life began on March 24, 1955, weighing 2lb2oz, the son of Alfred Aloysius and Louise Lena (Lauber) Dreher in Meade, Kansas. His mother passed away when Ben was 22 months old and his father remarried, Annie Bitter Stout when Ben was seven. He grew up in Plains Kansas. He graduated Class of 1974, from Southwestern Heights High School. He was a member of FFA and ran cross-country & track while in school. On July 24, 1976, he was united in marriage to Connie Sue Adams McKinley at the First United Methodist Church in Hooker, Oklahoma. On April 18, 1980, they were blessed with a daughter, Jennifer Anna Louise.
Ben was a hard worker and was able to see a need and meet it. He started out working with his dad as a farm hand and at his dad’s service station, Al’s Service in Plains. He worked for Butler and Seward County EMS as an EMT. He drove truck for Hogoboom Trucking for several years, and then worked in maintenance at Pioneer Balloon, followed by a career at the Butler County Sherriff’s Department. Ben’s last years of service were spent at Creative Community Living and then Flint Hills services assisting with the developmentally disabled. For the last twenty years Ben and Connie have been loving foster parents to many youths in need. They even received an award in 2014 for their service in foster care.
He was a member of First United Methodist Church, Elks Club, Butler County Blazers Coach, Special Olympic Coach, Healing Hearts Bereavement Camp (for children) volunteer, and Interim Hospice volunteer. He loved playing Santa to many, reading, gardening, woodworking, building, and tinkering with cars. Ben collected tools, ink pens and hats. He thoroughly enjoyed George Strait music, John Wayne, Walker Texas Ranger shows, and trips to Red River, New Mexico. Ben was a very patriotic man and always stopped veterans or military persons to thank them for their service and sacrifice. Most of all he loved and cared for his family and his grand-pups.
His survivors include loving family consisting of his wife, Connie of 42 years; daughter and her husband, Jennifer and Jason Taylor of El Dorado; sister, Jackie (Larry) Hoag of El Dorado; brother, Harold Stout of Park City, Kansas; grand-pups, Xander, Ginger and Aspen; numerous family, nieces and nephews, friends, and co-workers.
Ben was preceded in death by his parents; Grandma Mamie Bitter, siblings, Nancy Gordon, Teresa Kraclicek, Cathy Hicks, Alfred Dreher Jr., and an infant brother, Gerard; sister-in-law, Nancy Stout; his dogs, Blackie and Lori; grand-pup, Cocoa. Ben passed away peacefully, on Monday, October 1, 2018, having reached the age of 63 years old.
His family will gather with friends on Friday, October 5, from 5-7 p.m. at Carlson Funeral Home. Funeral service will be held Saturday, October 6, at 11:00 a.m. at First United Methodist Church with Pastor Mik King officiating.
In lieu of flowers memorial contributions in his name may be directed to Operation Home Front, 1355 Central Parkway S, Suite 100, San Antonio, Texas 78232, https://www.operationhomefront.org/ways to give. Please sign his online guest book and leave a memory of Ben at www.carlsoncolonial.com.