Benjamin David Dirks came into this world singing on September 8, 1928, in Moundridge, KS, and continued using his voice to encourage others until his death on March 20, 2021. He and his four sisters grew up in rural Kansas as pastor’s kids. Orlo and Dorothy Dirks pastored and held tent meetings which provided Ben many opportunities to minister in song.
While attending Wheaton College, Ben met Jerolyn Seelye. They were married in Gary, IN, on July 26, 1947. In 1948 they attended Northwestern College in Minnesota where Ben was a pioneer in religious radio at KTIS. The couple traveled throughout the South and the Midwest with Ben serving as minister of music and senior pastor in various churches including representing the Billy Graham Ministries. Jerolyn was a dedicated homemaker and mother of four all the while supporting her husband’s ministry and earning a Masters in Education from the University of Michigan. Ben spent 25 years in Christian ministry and 25 years in public education.
After retirement Ben and Jerolyn split their time between British Columbia and Montana until permanently settling down in Bozeman where they continued ministering and serving their community through church membership and local programs like The Gallatin County Re-entry Center. They made frequent trips to British Columbia to visit their daughter, Candace, and grandchildren, Kate and Ben. Locally, they always enjoyed visiting their oldest daughter, Jerolyn’s, farm north of Bozeman as well as with many new friends made in Montana. And there were welcome visits from Melody who often travelled back to Bozeman from Michigan to share special events.
Ben will always be Jerolyn’s “wonderful man”. They were married for 74 years and were a team dedicated to sharing the love of Jesus Christ.
Ben was preceded in death by their son, Danny-Ben, his parents and siblings, and his son-in-law, Gene Brodeur. He is survived by his wife, Jerolyn; daughters, Jerolyn Brodeur (Belgrade), Candace Regehr (Courtenay, B.C.), Melody Dirks (Midland, MI); granddaughter, Kate Regehr (Vancouver, B.C.); grandson, Benjamin David Regehr (Courtenay, B.C.) and great-grandson, Daniel Benjamin Regehr.
Family and friends will gather at a later date to celebrate his life well-lived.