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Ben Ehly was longtime coach for the TL Maroon and Gold

Funeral services for Ben Ehly, 85, of Timber Lake will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018, at Timber Lake School Gym in Timber Lake.
Interment will be in the Timber Lake Cemetery under the direction of Kesling Funeral Home of Mobridge.
Visitation will be Friday at 5 p.m. with a prayer service at 6:30 p.m. at United Parish Church in Timber Lake.
Ben passed away Sunday, Sept. 30, 2018 at St. Alexius Hospital in Bismarck, N.D.
Benjamin T. Ehly was born on June 20, 1933 to William and Lydia Ehly on their family farm outside of Isabel. He joined a sister, Ella and a brother, Alvin. He attended Isabel School and graduated in 1952.
On May 23, 1954, he married the love of his life, Bonita Lucille Miller, at the Congregational Church in Isabel. After graduating from Isabel High School, he and Bonita were off to Northern State Teacher’s College for a 10-week training session. He and Bonita earned their degrees in Education and Ben also got a minor in Physical Education. He taught at Huck School after getting his teaching permit 8 miles south of Keldron, while Bonita was at Liebelt School, 13 miles south of Isabel. In 1955, Ben and Bonita moved to Firesteel where they became part of a “family community” as the “new teachers,” for the next 12 years. It was while they lived and taught in Firesteel, that they had their only child, Kelley Rae, on Dec. 11, 1960. She was the light of their lives for the last 57 years. In 1967, Bonita was offered a contract to teach third grade at the Timber Lake Schools, and Ben, Bonita, and Kelley moved to Timber Lake where they resided in the newly-built Carl Meyer house at 110 5th Street. Ben and Bonita continued long, wonderful, and rewarding teaching careers for the next 47 “consecutive” years. Ben and Bonita earned their Master’s Degrees in School Administration. Ben was an integral part of Timber Lake High School athletics and had many successful football, basketball, track and cross country teams. He leaves behind a coaching legacy no one will ever forget. He loved teaching and coaching and thought of all of his students and players as “his kids.” He had a 97-59 football record at Timber Lake.
On Aug. 28, 1982, Kelley married Melvin Paul Traversie. Between 1991 and 1993, Kelley and Melvin blessed Ben and Bonita with four wonderful grandchildren, Kasidee Jade, Ty Paul, Andrew Benjamin, and Jordyn Rae. These grandkids became such an important part of their lives and they loved being their “Papa and Nanny.” They became their passion and they have been the joy of their lives for the past 27 years. Not only were Ben and Bonita, “Papa and Nanny” to the grandkids, they became “Papa and Nanny” to all of the grandkids’ friends and treated them all like a part of the family.
Ben and Bonita retired in 1999 at the ages of 65 and 66, and from then on, Ben became a “coach” for his grandkids in their various sports. You could always find him in the bleachers, keeping stats for the teams. He enjoyed watching his grandkids participate and excel in basketball, football, volleyball, track, cross country, and rodeo. He was so very proud of his 4 grandkids and always supported them in their many endeavors. He enjoyed being their Papa and Coach so much.
He was an active member in the Masonic Lodge, was the Mayor of Timber Lake, a member of the Timber Lake City Council, a member of the Timber Lake Rodeo Association, a member of the South Dakota High School Coaches Association and was nominated for South Dakota Coach of the Year, and so many other activities, awards, and clubs. He also enjoyed playing golf and was a member of the Little Moreau Country Club Men’s Golf League and received many awards.
A favorite quote of Ben’s was, “I’m not rich with money, but I am rich with love from all of my students and football players.”
He enjoyed watching any and all sports, but he was an avid Minnesota Vikings and Minnesota Twins fan. You could almost always guarantee to see him in the Vikings Purple and Gold or Twins Red and Blue, but his very favorite colors were Timber Lake Panther Maroon and Gold.
He was so proud of his two great-grandchildren, Taitum Arleigh and Jayden Paul.
For the past 5 and 1/2 years, he resided at the Mobridge Care and Rehab Center.
Surviving Ben is his daughter, Kelley Rae and son-in-law, Melvin Traversie; his grandchildren, Kasidee (Julian) Whitcher, Ty (Shayna) Traversie, Andy Traversie and Jordyn Traversie. He leaves behind two great-grandchildren, Taitum and Jayden Traversie. He also leaves two “special’”brothers-in-law, Dennis Peterson and Willard Nash.
Preceding Ben in death were his wife of 57 years, Bonita Ehly; his parents, William and Lydia Ehly; brother and sister, Alvin Ehly and Ella Bachman; sisters-in-law, Dora Finley, Kay Nash, and Shirley Peterson; and brother-in-law, Bud Finley; as well as his grandparents, and nieces, nephews, and cousins.