Benjamin Jay Schroff

Schroff, Ben Obit(November 17, 1976—September 11, 2014)

Ben was born to Lonnie Childers and Lee Schroff in St. George, Utah, on November 17, 1976. All of Ben’s demons and desperation in Earth-life led to acts nearly unbelievable to those who love and cherish him. On September 11, 2014, Ben’s life ended way too soon.

Generosity and love are the two words all who even met him once called him. To have used his Santa beard and wig to perform such a last horrendous act is steeped in irony, and yet a humorless outcome as Ben loved dressing-up in his Santa suit for kids in the area. He had that spirit of giving all year long. His beloved sons, family and friends were yearlong recipients of Ben’s loving and giving. He was the greatest son, dad, uncle and brother. He was always ready to help, listen, go to the lake, mountains, fishing, camping or just hang out and barbecue.

Ben had his own yard maintenance business at age 10 and had many happy, amazed clients. From age 16, he has worked in his dad’s roofing and siding business. He was well-known for doing excellent work and also got some of his biggest contracts from either doing a roof or job for a widow or struggling family without pay or for barter. They were great advertising. Ben’s other hobby was to go on Craigslist and see family’s needs and gather-up clothes, food, etc. and answer their advertisement. His Mom and sons and friends happily assisted on these service projects. It is hard to decipher whether Ben or those he helped felt more joy. Being too generous and too involved in his other “hobby,” gambling, did not mix well.

Ben leaves behind the shining stars of his life his two sons, Easton and Hunter; his mom, Lonnie and stepdad, Bill Mathews; his dad, Lee and stepmom, Jennifer; brothers, Kerby, Isaac, Steve, Dustin, Eric, Kenny and sisters, Celia, Alicia, Sheila, Julie and their spouses; dozens of beloved nephews and nieces at home and on missions; also his Granny, Liz and her girls. All whose hearts are broken today.

We are writing this for all those wonderful people we love and who love Ben and us. We would never turn anyone away … (that would make Ben furious!) But, if you are negative, curious, part of the Media or desire to turn Ben’s service into a sideshow – Please refrain from attending the service.

Funeral Services

  • Funeral services will be Tuesday, Sept. 16, at 2 p.m. in the Spilsbury Mortuary, 110 South Bluff Street, St. George, Utah.
  • A visitation will be held Tuesday, Sept. 16 from 12:30-1:30 p.m. prior to services.
  • Interment will be in the Tonaquint Cemetery.

Arrangements are under the direction of Spilsbury Mortuary, telephone 435-673-2454. Family and friends are invited to sign his guest book at the Spilsbury Mortuary website.

Thank you for all your support. God bless and thanks for everything!

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  • Shaun September 14, 2014 at 11:58 am

    Rest in Peace dear Ben! Know that you are loved, and those you left behind love you!

  • Yvette Hale September 14, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    Ben, my almost son in law, I will miss you. You have always had a soft spot in my heart. You always pushed things to the limit and you had so many dreams. Remember when you wanted to be a bull rider and went out and did it. You were the most incredible dad to those boys. I looked up the pictures of you and the boys at Easter with us. You were so cute with Kobe when we adopted him. You had the spirit of a wanderer. Always needing something to drive you. You will be missed by so many people and I will be one of them. I am so grateful you are at peace. Rent well you sweet boy.

  • Terry Armstrong September 14, 2014 at 7:23 pm

    Celia, my heart goes out to you and your family. May Heavenly Father watch over you at this time of sorrow. God Bless and sending my love.

  • angel September 14, 2014 at 7:26 pm

    Ben, i still dont think i have the right words.
    I’m sure you know, but i just wanted to say publicly that you were an amazing man and im so overjoyed that you were one of the few people that i got to spend time with when i came home to visit. You will be dearly missed! Until we meet again. . .. <3

  • Lori September 14, 2014 at 7:27 pm

    Rest in peace cousin. Heaven is blessed to have gained such a wonderful angel. You will be missed greatly. Love you Ben

  • EHarrison September 14, 2014 at 7:49 pm

    Ben always made me laugh and was such a sweet, charitable and kind man. His goal always seemed to be to make others smile, and when he talked to anyone, he did so with a genuine concern and a caring heart. The world truly lost a wonderful human being in a tragic end dark ending. I so wish I would have told him about what an impact he made on my life.

    To his family and friends;
    How lucky you were to spend so much quality time with him. Please remember how much he loved all of you. My heart, love and prayers are with you. May you remain strong, and persevere, just the way Ben would have wanted you to.

  • rena September 14, 2014 at 9:58 pm

    I don’t know Ben or your family. I am not sure even why your post is on my Facebook here in Idaho. I am touched by your loss and the pain you are obviously dealing with. It is so hard to understand why things like this happen. There really are no answers that take the hurt away. Just know that one day you will be able to smile again and the nature of his death will be forgotten and you will only remember the good. I will offer a prayer for you and your family tonight.

  • Sabina Kirkpatrick September 14, 2014 at 11:49 pm

    I am going to miss Ben’s big smile and his jokes. He was a good man, my thoughts and prayers are with Ben and his family my you rest in peace.

  • jp September 15, 2014 at 8:43 am

    One of the ladies who was taken hostage by Ben is a wife of one of my husband’s employees. She said that even though she was a hostage, he was very considerate of her and the other woman. Even telling them to cover their ears whenever he was shooting. So sad!! Your family is in our thoughts and prayers!

    • Thank you September 15, 2014 at 9:41 am

      Thanks for saying that, I have been very curious about what was said and done with the girls because I never knew Ben to be violent or mean.

    • Koolaid September 15, 2014 at 11:54 am

      Oh, how considerate. What a gentleman! How about offering them his body armor if the police shot back?

      • Be considerate September 15, 2014 at 4:16 pm

        This is his obituary, not a place for negative comments.

  • Just Passing Through.... September 15, 2014 at 2:26 pm

    My Deepest Condolances to the family. He is now free from his earthly chains and is on to greener pastures!

  • Please... September 15, 2014 at 5:46 pm

    I do not know Ben personally, but am sure he was fighting a hard battle with some sort of mental illness. It is not my place (or yours) to judge him for the struggles he had in this life. Please do not write negative comments about this man. He has family and friends that loved him dearly. This is not the forum for your opinions or judgement. Let his family put him to rest and begin the healing process without your criticism. They know he wasn’t perfect, and do not need you replaying his last actions. Ben’s family deserves to remember the kind generous person he was. You rehashing this only hurts the people who have already been through so much this week…please be considerate of what this family has already endured.

  • Jane Petersen September 15, 2014 at 7:44 pm

    I’m so sorry for the familurs loss and for the desperate choicesthat he made the last sad day of his life. I do not believe that he deserved to be murdered and I’m sorry that it ended that way. He seemed like a truly kind and caring man. Most people will never experience the kind of depression and desperation that he undoubtedly felt that day so few can understand what led him to his choices. I did not know him personally but I’m sad that he is gone and sorry that no justice will be served in his death 🙁

  • Steve September 16, 2014 at 6:36 am

    My first real memory of Ben was meeting him on my morning walk. I was dressed in work clothes and he thought I was walking because my vehicle broke down. He stopped and offered to take me where ever I needed to be, even though he himself was on his way to work. That was Ben. He would’ve given anybody that needed it a ride. He would help anyone . It just was part of who he was. No one on here is defending his horrific actions that day last week. I think all anyone is saying is that a human life is made up of thousands of days and just one day does not give an accurate portrayal of who that person is or was.His desperate, degenerate actions that day cannot cancel all of his 1000’s of good days where he was fair, honest, caring and kind to those he dealt with. Yes he became a degenerate that last day. But he had many many other days when he was a good man. And to those of us who knew him we will remember those days as well. He paid for his actions that day with the ultimate price. And now many others are continuing to pay such as the police, hostages, tellers, family and friends. Condolences to all. I for one will miss seeing him around and enjoying the laughs. RIP my friend.

    • JRex September 16, 2014 at 4:21 pm

      @ Steve- I did not know him personally but my best friend and sister-in-law did, and she and her husband were good friends of Ben’s. Your post is amazingly worded and I wanted to thank you for taking the time and putting your post on here. RIP Ben. From all that knew you, knew you were a great man and I hope that the memories of your last day will not shadow the feats you had daily.

  • Guy September 16, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    Confused is a good name for you. Remember, you’re making condescending statements to his friends and family, not him. Better to keep your mouth shut and appear a fool, than to open your mouth and confirm it.

  • scott nay September 16, 2014 at 5:02 pm

    from all of your friends in slc who could not make it we love and miss you.
    your laugh and smile will always be with us.

  • Autumn Schroff September 16, 2014 at 6:22 pm

    I Love You Brother Forever

  • Cassie September 16, 2014 at 7:45 pm

    Thank you Ben. Thank you for being a kind soul. A soul that stepped into my life when I needed it most. New town, new friends, and you were one of them. Thank you for all the laughs and pitchers we shared at the one and only. You are loved. My prayers and go of energy are being sent to your family, friends and Liz. I’m very glad our paths crossed. Rest in heaven, friend.

  • Iamlove September 17, 2014 at 12:58 pm

    I love you Ben. God knows your heart. It’s not about how people see and judge. It’s about love and truth. I feel you already. I know you are with us all and you’ve gained the knowledge necessary for your new calling. What a shame it is that we all can’t see through the darkness the lies and deception of what the world wants us to believe and trust God’s plan is perfect. I know you are happy and honored to be called to your new purpose and I know it is perfect for you! I feel it and I feel you. Thank you for you unconditional love Ben. We are all better people because of you.

  • izzy November 2, 2014 at 1:11 am

    I did not know Ben but from what I read he was such a good young man. My heart hurts for his family and friends and Im so sorry he ended up like this on his final day with whatever demons were chasing him. I have a son who could have ended up the same way and I THANK God every day that he did not. I could never figure out what got into him just as you probably could not figure out what possessed Ben to do what he did. BUT he was and always will be remembered and loved by all those who knew him and that is all that matters now. May he rest in peace with our Lord Jesus.

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