Benjamin Blackstock

Born in Granite Falls, NC
Born on May 5, 1938
Departed on Jun 6, 2024

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Benjamin Wellington Blackstock, 86, of Cedar Rapids, passed away on Thursday, June 6, 2024, after a brief battle with pancreatic cancer.

Benjamin (Ben) was born on May 5, 1938, in Granite Falls, NC. He was the third of four children of Emerson and Othella (Short) Blackstock and grew up in several small towns in the south, including Cherryville, NC, where he became the first Eagle Scout in his Boy Scout Troop. Ben’s father was a superintendent of textile mills, which caused their family to relocate frequently until finally landing in Kankakee, IL where Ben graduated from high school. 

Ben attended the University of Iowa, where he met his future bride, Katie, during his sophomore year as a teacher’s assistant in the department of photography. Ben graduated from Iowa in 1960 with his journalism degree and worked at the Cedar Rapids Gazette as a courthouse reporter. He stayed at the Gazette for five years and made life-long friendships while working there. 

Ben and Katie were married on June 19, 1960, in Wilton, IA. They lived in Cedar Rapids the majority of their marriage, with a winter home in Scottsdale, AZ. In September 1969 their family became complete with their daughter, Beth.

Ben served in the Iowa National Guard for six years, taking his basic training in Fort Leonard Wood, MO and then on to Fort Bliss in El Paso, TX. He was a member of the 34th Infantry Division, Iowa “Red Bull” Unit.  

Ben returned to the University of Iowa to pursue a law degree and graduated in May of 1968 with his JD. Ben began his legal career as a part-time city attorney for the City of Cedar Rapids and in private practice. He continued to practice law in a firm and then later as a solo practitioner for 48 years. Ben was a member of the Iowa State Bar Association and the Linn County Bar Association.

Ben was also a member of the Marion-East Cedar Rapids Rotary Club, Mt. Hermon Masonic Lodge and El Kahir Shrine. With El Kahir, Ben was a member of the Color Guard and carried the American flag in parades and other events. 

Ben was a self-taught computer guru. He enjoyed building computers and networks and built many computers for friends and family over the years. Ben also enjoyed travelling. He and Katie traveled worldwide and later, Beth and her husband, Jeff, joined them on their adventures. Ben was an avid Iowa Hawkeye fan; he and Katie went to home football and basketball games together for more than 50 years. They, along with their friends, would frequently follow the Hawks to the bowl games.

Katie, Beth and Jeff would like to extend a special thank you to all of Ben’s caregivers through Mercy Hospital and to family and friends who have reached out to share their condolences and memories of Ben.

A celebration of life honoring Ben will be held later this summer. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Ben’s name to: El Kahir/ Shriners Hospitals for Children or the Oldorf Hospice House of Mercy.