Ben R Loewen

Ben R Loewen

1961 - 2024

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Obituary of Ben R Loewen

Ben R Loewen, of Steinbach, MB., and Ben R Auto Sales, met Jesus face to face on Sunday, April 28, 2024, at Ste. Anne Hospital, Ste. Anne, MB., surrounded by his family after a recent cancer diagnosis.

He leaves behind his amazing wife of 38 years, Kathy, his children, Sean & Stacey, Selena & Eitamar Blumberg, Nikko & Melissa, Craig & Hailey, and 13 adoring grandchildren, Mckinley, Paisley, Breslin, Charlie, Jaxon, Dallas, Navy, Declan, Sawyer, Maverick, Rory, Adlee, and Kypton.

As well as his brothers, John, Pete, Harry, Gerald and Eldon, sister Marianne, many in-laws, and their families, countless friends, loved employees, cousins, uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews, and faithful customers he always considered friends.

He was predeceased by his wife Susie (Wiebe) in 1985, his father John D Loewen, his mother Mary (Reimer), and his dear friend and brother-in-law Ron Schalla less than five months ago.

The memorial service will be held on Monday, May 6, 2024, at 2:00 p.m., at Southland Church, Steinbach, MB. A private family interment will take place.

To join the family via livestream, please click HERE or on the video below shortly before the service. 


A remarkable event on October 31, 1961, Ben was just four months old when "HURRICANE HATTIE" landed in British Honduras. It was the most powerful and deadly tropical cyclone category 5 to hit Belize.

When the storm hit, his father John, along with his brothers-in-law, were in Belize City selling the fruit of their labour when Hurricane Hattie struck. Due to the highway being flooded and parts washed out, the men were left stranded in their trucks on a bridge all day and night on the outskirts of Belize City. 

This left his mom home alone with her three young sons. Mom became afraid for their safety when she saw their chicken barn, full of squawking chickens floating past in front of their house. So she bundled up Ben in her arms, held her son John's hand tightly who was holding on to Pete's hand and they ventured across the field in knee-deep water to reach her parents ‘two-story home. 

She felt the house move and shift off the foundation. Aunts, grandmother, and children fled further to the P.P.R.E. Reimer shed which had posts on cement and a tin roof with no walls. They waited out the storm in the shed, watching in awe of its fury and devastation all around them! This event laid the foundation for Ben to weather the storms in his life.

The John D. Loewen family moved to Canada in 1962 where John started to work at Penner Dodge as a car washer. Soon his dad discovered being a car salesman would be more profitable. Salesmanship runs deep in the Loewen Family.

The family moved frequently in Manitoba including the city of Steinbach, as well as Blumenort, Wawanesa, and Rosenort, and also a brief move back to Belize, as well as to Lloydminster Alberta, and Vernon B.C.

Ben was the first of his family to go to kindergarten, and in Grade one he went to five different schools. Ben had the advantage of being schooled in both English and German. He graduated from the school of Hard Knocks! 

As a young child, he enjoyed playing sports with his brothers. The boys wore out many jeans playing "comb" hockey with combs as sticks and Crokinole pieces for pucks, on cement floors in basements. Shooting hoops and playing football also bonded all the brothers and a lot of cousins and friends.

Ben married his high school sweetheart Susie Wiebe in 1979. They had two beautiful children Sean and Selena. Tragedy struck when Susie and her parents died in a car accident in 1985. While Sean age four, and Selena age five months recovered from their injuries, Ben reeled, wondering how life would now look widowed at age 24, with two young children.

Ben had the unexpected blessing of meeting Kathy, and they discussed marriage on their first date! They got married on March 8, 1986, and she became an instant mom and still managed to keep Ben in line.

In short order, they added two boys to the family, Nikko David and Craig. Ben enjoyed his duties as a father tremendously and loved to take them on trips, vacations, outings, and sporting events. Some deep sacrifices were made for a family trip to Disneyworld in 1995. The memories created were worth more than gold! 

Ben was a man who knew how to enjoy his time spent with his family. To keep a trip to Niagara Falls affordable they slept in a tent each night. Tenting was a nightmare for Ben. They also made numerous trips to Alberta, B.C., Minneapolis, Grand Forks, Wisconsin Dells, and  Branson. Family vacations brought them to various spots in Mexico and twice to the Dominican Republic. 

Ben loved his NFL football and NASCAR. He and his sons went to many games in Dallas and Minneapolis and a few races. Ben along with his brothers would often go to cities like Dallas, Phoenix, and Minneapolis to spend a weekend watching their favorite Vikings and Cowboys! 

A highlight for his brother John was a trip to Kansas City to see the Chiefs versus the Colts. For a good laugh ask John about going “back-to-back” with Manuel. Another highlight for the brothers was a hockey game in Grand Forks for the 2005 World Juniors where they saw Crosby, Carter, Bergeron, Getzlaf Richards, and Webber amongst others.

Ben was always efficient in his achievements. Everything happened in a hurry and often with good humor. He weathered a lot of storms and was often described as a go-getter, resilient, and quick to respond with action. If he thought of a plan there was no procrastinating. He would say "Why wait till tomorrow if I can do it today?"

Ben's first job was as a warranty clerk at a farm equipment dealership in Blumenort, and then as a parts clerk at Reimer Farm Supplies in Steinbach, MB. 

Ben opened a waterbed and wicker furniture store called the Sleep Shoppe on Main Street in Steinbach in the early 80's.

He was a great salesman and soon started in sales at Funk's Toyota competing for the "top gun" position. Ben along with Ron Loeppky and Peter Loewen were all awarded in the top 10 salesmen in all of Toyota Canada! Ben also sold automobiles at Eastern Nissan, Brookdale Pontiac, and Penner Chev Olds.

One day in 1999, a friend, Peter Dyck, suggested he should go on his own and offered to join him at a lot owned by Helmut Pankratz on Hwy 12 in Steinbach. Ben joined Peter Dyck’s “J R Auto” which after Peter’s retirement renamed the dealership Ben R Auto. 

Ben and Kathy worked extremely hard putting in long hours doing all the work themselves. They purchased the vehicles, cleaned, and reconditioned them, picked them up, brought them for repairs and safety as needed, displayed them on the lot, and advertised them in the “Carillon” and some radio ads. Once a vehicle was sold, they processed the paperwork required.

As the business continued to grow, his son Sean partnered with him in 2008. Ben R Auto grew rapidly and in 2010 he purchased a property on 45 Hwy 12 N and the BEN R AUTO sign was moved to the "blue building". A friendship with Gord and Doug Kreutzer of Harvest Honda was formed; their intangible trust and generosity towards Ben greatly influenced and helped the business grow. In the following years, Ben and Sean were joined by Randy Peters, Ben’s son-in-law Eitamar Blumberg, and then Ben’s brother John Reimer in 2013. His son Nikko also joined the business later, partnering with Ben and Kathy to start Adventure RV. 

In 2014, Ben, Kathy, and Sean seized an opportunity to purchase the Fountain Tire building and  property next door, which they completely renovated. They installed six service bays and added a large showroom with a loft where the accounting department keeps everything in order. 

Ben was very insistent on the type of people he hired. He wanted people with integrity, honesty, and good character to provide service above and beyond what people have been accustomed to in the past. He always said that buying a vehicle at Ben R is an experience like no other, and the loyalty of the customers and the growth of the business is a testament to that. 

Ben and Sean have always been very proud of their employees and treat them with respect, kindness, and generosity. He held great pride in each of his employees past and present. 

Ben felt incredibly blessed. He was caring, compassionate, and generous with his time and money. His generosity often freely supplied vehicles or rentals to missionaries or people in need.

Business was only one part of Ben’s life. Ben had a love for bunny rabbits and started raising some at the early age of 13, he loved and cared for them. He was proud of his latest additions of “Floppies” until just a few weeks ago when he realized he was unable to take care of them and donated them to a family for their young girl.

Ben loved his food, his breakfast or coffee with friends, and supplied pizza almost every Saturday at the dealership for the sales staff. He loved his pizza! He did NOT however like onions! 

Ben loved going to the theatre to see a movie. He saw almost every movie that has ever been released, except for horror, and he enjoyed rating them. 

His love for music ranged from gospel, country, bubble gum pop, and classic rock. His favorite band was probably the Bee Gees, and he could not only sing like them, but he had the dance moves of the disco era to prove it.

During his life, Ben created community and connection. One could find him in the early mornings, often as early as 4 a.m. coffee with his brother-in-law, Ron Schalla, which became one of his favorite events of nearly every day. He also loved breakfast in his office with his friends, family, relatives, and customers, enjoying fellowship with deep conversations, often about faith. He would also debate things like the performance of the Jets, the Bombers, or the NFL. 

His brother John, who worked as the Finance Manager these last 11 years sums it up by chuckling when he recalls Ben saying, “I worked very hard today”. The reality was that he had “visited” with four or five people for one, two or more hours each when most did not even buy a vehicle that day! He  nurtured incredible friendships and loved to tell stories…Boy could he tell stories! Each one of you likely recalls at least one of his many stories. 

Ben loved all his grandchildren and loved spending time with them. One could often find one of his grandkids on his lap. He attended their concerts and sporting events. He enjoyed teaching them to ride mini-quads, go-karts, and dirt bikes around his property; Ben always made his grandchildren a priority. He demonstrated this love by attending one of Charlie’s last playoff hockey games just a few weeks ago. He would put his head down to sleep between shifts and asked to be woken up when it was Charlie’s turn to play.

Your presence here attests to the wonderful legacy that he has left to all.

We will truly miss you Ben, but in our hearts, we take comfort in the knowledge that you are in heaven now, where we all long to be and reunite! May God bless every one of you as you comfort one another!


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Memorial Service

2:00 pm
Monday, May 6, 2024
Southland Church
190 PTH 52 W
Steinbach, Manitoba, Canada