Benjamin Karl Likes, gentle spirit, musical muse and beloved son, grandson, brother, uncle, and cousin passed away Sept. 20, 2014, at the tender age of 25. He was a friend to many and a special gift to his parents.
Known as "Ben Ben" in his early years, he was born December 9, 1988, in Fort Collins, CO. He earned his GED after attending Ault, CO schools and at age 17 joined the US Army. He was stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina after basic training in Fort Benning, Georgia. He then served his country in the 82nd Airborne in Afghanistan for 18 months in Operation Enduring Freedom. He was awarded an honorable discharge in 2009. Ben worked at multiple Best Buy store locations, earning promotions in the retail computer and cellular phone divisions.
Ben was determined to carve his own way; teaching himself how to navigate bikes, computers, skateboards, guitars and keys. He wrote, performed and recorded music with his older brother, Richard Dempsey III, with whom he also lived and worked at KFC. He was a member of a Christian Youth Band as a teen and in the military, he would play guitar for his friends. He often looked after the stray animals that he met when deployed and tended to many stray animals with affection his whole life. Ben was wonderful with younger children who knew him; especially his little niece Abigail Lynne Dempsey.
Benjamin is survived by his mother, Christina D. Ulrich-Jones of Loveland, CO and his father, Jeffrey A. Likes of Westminster, CO; Brother Richard C. Dempsey III and family; stepfather Lawrence E. Ulrich-Jones and stepmother Shelly L. Likes, step-siblings Megan A. Jones and Libby K. Booton and was preceded in death by stepsister Lindsay E. Jones. He is also survived by grandparents Bonnie Ulrich and Robert and Sonnie Likes; uncles Rodney Likes and Leonard Verrett; aunts Jana Verrett, Lynette Likes and Barbara Hill; and cousins Robert Verrett, Christopher Verrett, Catherine Hill and Stephen Hill.
Ben enjoyed many trips with his family. Recently he mastered boogie boards, snorkeling and pontoon fishing and kayaking. He loved playing golf with his father and had equal affection for fishing with his mother and stepfather. Ben was especially close to his grandfather, Stanley S. Ulrich, who died in 2013 and was instrumental in supporting the Fort Collins Senior Center Expansion Committee.
A memorial service for Benjamin will be held from 3-5 p.m. Oct. 9, 2014 at the Fort Collins Senior Center's Twinberry Auditorium, aka "Stan Center." In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Fort Collins Senior Center Expansion Committee in his honor, c/o Goes Funeral Care. His family will also be remembering him through service via 'Recovery Road Ministries' established in 2010 in memory of Lindsay Elise Jones; to help comfort young men and women in Northern CO with PTSD. https://www.facebook.com/RecoveryRoadMinistries
Benjamin will be interred at Fort Logan National Cemetery on Oct. 10, 2014 near his grandfather Stan, who was a World War II veteran.