Benjamin Paul Stanek

Benjamin Paul Stanek

Benjamin Paul Stanek, 30, of rural Wonewoc, died unexpectedly on Tuesday, April 11, 2017. He was born on April 26, 1986 to Michael and Nancy (Ibinger) Stanek in Hillsboro, Wisconsin.

Ben graduated from Hillsboro High School and then attended UW-River Falls where he graduated with a Psychology Degree. He furthered his education at UW-LaCrosse, graduating with a Degree in Broadfield Science Education. Upon graduation, Ben found his dream job working as a naturalist at Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center in Lanesboro, MN. In the fall of 2015, he expanded his world, traveling to New York State to work in the Cat-Skill Mountains at Frost Valley YMCA Environmental Center, again teaching Outdoor Education, which he found to be his passion. Missing being close to family, friends, and the home farm, he came back to Wisconsin and accepted a teaching position at Wonewoc Center, as their Middle School Science Teacher, where he considered the staff and students to be second to none. Ben was a life-long lover of learning and studying nature. He was happiest when he could be in the outdoors, “his laboratory”. His dream goal was to develop the family farm into a sustainable and environmentally friendly place to live, where he could welcome students, colleagues, and friends.

Struggling for years with OCD and depression, it finally became a demon that he could not hide, nor run away from. Until his death, he fought with great courage, strength, and determination. As his family, we will forever be so proud of how brave and strong he was day in and day out fighting the unspoken disease, mental illness, with such hope of finding the right treatment, which never came.

Ben is survived by his parents, Mike and Nancy; brother, Jake, his wife, Jen, and their sons, Dylan and Jayden; brother, Jon, and his wife, Kelsey; Grandma “in the gym”; aunts, uncles, cousins, and many friends.

His greatest joy was being, Uncle Ben!

There will be a “Celebration of Ben’s Life” on Saturday, May 20, 2017 starting at 3:00 p.m. on the family farm.

All donations or gifts will be given to the Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center to enhance and develop programs in Ben’s memory.