July 4 1926 – October 31, 2006
Ben was born in La Junta, Colorado on July 4, 1926 to LC (Cuddle) and Lynn Ridennoure. One of Eight children, he was raised on the North bank of the Arkansas River near the old Santa Fe Trail. He went to a one room adobe schoolhouse about two miles away. He worked in the Stockyards after school and weekends. He graduated from La Junta high school in 1944, then attended the University of Colorado in Fort Collins (Agriculture), for 2 years where he met Rita (his wife to be).
Ben cowboyed for ranches in Colorado, and New Mexico for many years. He also rode bareback horses, bulls, and did some roping at rodeos. Later he bought and operated a small ranch
Ben sold his cows and immigrated to Canada in 1961 with his wife Rita and their children Glenn & Gwenn (and four good quarter horses!). Ben said that when he came over the top of Hungary Hill and saw the Bulkley Valley, he knew where he wanted to spend the rest of his life. The family settled 5 miles west of Smithers and Evelyn became their home.
Ben raised, broke and sold many legendary quarter horses (the first quarter horses in the valley), trimmed and shoed horses for others, operated a leather shop, and in the winter worked at logging and in small sawmills.
Ben helped promote local rodeos where he was usually the Rodeo clown with his infamous Shetland pony side kick, Little Joe.
Ben became a big game guide and together with Emil Mesich they built and operated a guide camp on Mooseskin Johnny Lake. He later guided for other outfitters in Northern BC. He also taught horsemenship, shoeing and camp cooking etc at guide schools in the summers.
For the last several years Ben was the manager of Copper River Ranch (Hunting & Fishing Camp) where he did everything from Guiding, horse wrangling and cooking.
Ben was predeceased by one brother (Ted) two sisters (Betty Jo & Patricia Ann) his son, Glenn in 1967, his first wife, Rita, in 2001 and his daughter, Gwenn, in 2005.
On April 15, 2005 he married June Cocks in the chapel of the funeral home. The newly weds spent a very compatible and enjoyable year and a half gardening, playing crib, raising highland cattle, some chickens and spending time at Copper River Ranch.
Ben had a lot of knowledge, and was very well known in the valley where he had many friends and acquaintances. Ben had cancer for the last 5 years and lately he was very tired & hurtin’. At his request, his ashes will be placed on a hill near McDonnell Lake, the place where he spent his last 22 summers. Ben will be greatly missed by many!!
Take Care of Yer Friends
Friend is a word that I don’t throw around
Though it’s used and abused, I still like the sound.
I save it for people who’ve done right by me
And I know I can count on if ever need be.
Yer friend just might have to take you on home
or remind you sometime that you’re not alone.
Or ever so gently pull you back to the ground
When you think you can fly with no one around.
A hug or a shake, whichever seems right
Is the high point of givin’ I’ll tellya tonight,
All wordly riches and tributes of men
Can’t hold a candle to the worth of a friend.