Ben Shoemake, 70, of Amarillo, TX, passed away on March 20, 2021.
Ben was born in Winters, TX, on January 31, 1951, the son of the Reverend Billy Thomas Shoemake and Velma Shoemake, a schoolteacher. Ben was the youngest of three siblings, Bill, Bob, and Betty. The family certainly came from modest beginnings but was full of characters with a high degree of integrity. In high school, Ben moved with his parents to Spearman, TX, where he was active and athletic. He competed as a high jumper, placing 6th in the state of Texas in 1969, and setting district records that lasted almost four decades. He could even dunk a basketball standing flatfooted as a sophomore. To his sons’ dismay, he didn’t pass any of those abilities onto them.
Ben married the love of his life, Gail, at the age of 22 in Amarillo. He was a devoted husband, selfless partner, and Godly leader in their home for 47 ½ years. They have two sons, Todd and Matt, and later added two wonderful daughters-in-love Jennifer and Melissa. Ben’s grandkids, Lyle and Colvin, brought new levels of laughter and happiness to his life.
Ben worked tirelessly to give his sons life opportunities he never had and succeeded admirably. Every time he earned a bonus or a small windfall, he was immediately investing it right back into his family. He rarely did things for himself, and only then it was when somebody practically forced his hand. He taught his boys the important things in life: how to tie a necktie, the finer points of a perfect fishing knot, and the lost arts of driving stick and keeping a cheap car running. More importantly, they learned by his example and instruction how everyone is worthy of kindness, patience, and dignity. In a world with many bad examples, Ben taught his boys what it is to be a good man.
Ben worked for 38 years at Turnkey Computers where he was most recently a field service manager. He oversaw computer network systems for cattle feed yards, enjoying rich relationships with both colleagues and customers. Like elsewhere in his life, he was known professionally for his selfless service and sacrifice.
Ben and Gail were very active in their community and developed rich friendships over many years at The Church at Quail Creek. He served as a deacon, on the board of trustees, and as a leader in their life group. Ben’s faith was foundational to him his whole life and only grew stronger with each passing year. He preferred to live by example rather than preach his faith to others.
Ben was kind and patient to his wife, children, and everyone he interacted with. He was embarrassed to be in the same room as a compliment for himself and only ever bragged on others. He enjoyed the outdoors and spent many quality hours fishing with friends, family, and his boys. He also had the rare ability to be both mechanically and technically inclined, so his humble expertise was always a luxury to receive when troubleshooting a problem. He stayed well-versed on the latest gadgets, cameras, and electronics trends. But hands down his favorite thing was spending time with family and friends. And he let you know that was what mattered.
Ben died a very rich man. While he isn’t leaving behind a large estate or fortune, it’s apparent he built an immense wealth of relationships, community, joy, and memories which he freely shared with those he came into contact with. His genuine kindness and patience infected everyone he rubbed shoulders with. We can all honor his memory by sharing more patience and kindness with one another.
Survivors include his wife, Gail; sons Todd and wife Jennifer of Albuquerque and Matt and wife Melissa, and grandsons Lyle and Colvin of Atlanta, Georgia; brothers Bill and wife Lu of Abilene; and Bob and wife Diane of Richmond, Virginia; brother-in-law Jim Johnson and wife Jan; mother-in-law Faye Watkins; sister-in-law Melanie Sweet; brother-in-law Mike Todd of Liberal, Kansas; many nephews and nieces, and a lot of amazing friends from the CrossRoads Life Group at TCQC.
Service will be held at The Church at Quail Creek at 11:00 AM Friday, March 26, 2021, with Kyle Clayton officiating. Burial will be at Llano Cemetery. Arrangements are made by Boxwell Brothers Funeral Directors, 2800 Paramount Blvd. Please wear a mask to the service at The Church at Quail Creek.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts can be given to The Church at Quail Creek.
Use this link to livestream the service: live.tcqc.org