Benjamin Van Camp, 27


Benjamin “Ben” Van Camp, 27, of West Bend passed away unexpectedly on Thursday, March 27, 2014. He recently moved back to West Bend from Lancaster, Calif. Ben was born in Davenport, Iowa, on Sept. 19, 1986, to Scott and Suzanne (Niemann) Van Camp.

Ben is survived by his parents, older brother Ryan Van Camp (Mandy Shipler) of Fitchburg, a younger sister Katie Van Camp and his younger brother Daniel Van Camp, both of West Bend, and two special friends, Andrea and Dariun Thomas. Ben is also survived by his grandparents Albert “Joe” and Marianne Van Camp, Davenport, Iowa, and Gene and Jeanne Niemann, Woodstock, Ill. Ben had six uncles, four aunts and 26 cousins. His family was very important to him and provided a large network of love and support for him.

Ben grew up in Davenport and attended St. Paul the Apostle School until fifth grade. He then moved to West Bend attending Badger Middle School and graduated from West Bend West High School in 2005.

Ben enjoyed many sports including soccer, basketball and for the past eight years had discovered a passion for playing disc golf. Ben spent the last several years working very hard in the renewable energy field as a tower technician for Blattner Energy. He worked on job sites in Iowa, Oklahoma, and California constructing and climbing 285-foot windmills.

Ben fought a courageous battle fighting the demons of his addiction for over 10 years. His family does not want his death to be in vain and would like to share his story. Ben like millions of people across the world suffered from addiction. An addiction so cruel he wouldn't wish it upon his worst enemy. We can now see some sort of awareness with the new billboards saying “You don’t take heroin, heroin takes you.” You cannot summarize it any better than that. Heroin took a son, brother, grandson, boyfriend, friend, co-worker, cousin, nephew and a great guy with a huge heart. Nothing can bring him back but we want everyone’s help in bringing awareness to this very real and tragic problem.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Wednesday, April 2, 2014, at 11 a.m. at Holy Angels Catholic Church in West Bend with the Rev. Gerald Brittain presiding. The family will greet visitors on Tuesday, at Holy Angels Church from 3 p.m. until a prayer vigil at 6 p.m. and also Wednesday from 10 a.m.-10:45 a.m.

Ben’s family is asking people to celebrate his life by wearing bright-colored clothing to the services, limited black please. Also, they ask that no flowers be sent. In lieu of flowers, as a memorial to Ben, the family has set up a fund for Addiction Therapy and Research: http://www.gofundme.com/liveonBen. Anyone that was a friend to Ben knew he would do anything for them, with this fund he will continue to help others. He had a contagious smile and loved being a jokester. He will be missed terribly.

The Schmidt Funeral Home in West Bend is serving the family. Online guestbook and condolences are available at www.schmidtfuneralhome.com.