I'm so sorry to have to report that Ben Budick, Class of 1967, passed away on January 29, 2016. The following message was posted on Face Book by Gail, Ben's wife.
My name is Gail (Budick). I'm Ben's wife. I'm writing this to tell you all that Ben died Friday afternoon. I'm not big on sitting in front of a computer for hours, so I know all your stories and have seen your pictures from Ben calling me in to see things he wanted to show me. I will learn how to use this site somehow, but what I wanted to say is this was a wonderful tool for Ben to be in touch with the outside world and with people who shared his interests. And I loved the way it kept us up to date with peoples' news no matter where they are in the world.
I think you all knew he had spinal surgery, and so this site is a double blessing(?) as far as that goes. He was the nicest person I ever knew, and the smartest, and I wish you had all gotten to meet him in person.
I hope I'm doing this right, I have a lot to attend to, but wanted to let you all understand why he hasn't been in touch the last few days. I won't be on this as many hours as he was, but I hope you keep him included, because I will check in once in a while.
Thank you all for keeping him in touch with the outside world.
All my love,
Those of you who are regular followers of the Rockaway website know that Ben's wonderful contributions to the site have added so many memories to our lives and have kept the spirit of Rockaway's past in our thoughts. His amazing original song, There Use to Be a Boardwalk Here, is a wonderful tribute to bygone days and will always be remembered by those of us who lived there during those wonderful years. I have reposted the song below.