Pharos-Tribune

October 25, 2012

John Benjamin ‘Ben’ Prior


MIAMI COUNTY — Local resident of Miami County, John Benjamin “Ben” Prior, passed away approximately 5:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, at his residence, soon after chopping a truckload of firewood.

He was born in Miami County on April 2, 1939, the son of the late Cecil M. and Goldie C. Yoder Prior. On Sept. 19, 1965, he married the “love of his life,” Bonnie C. Hill Prior, of Rochester, and she survives.

They had four sons, Greg (Florida), Brent, John (deceased), and Michael (wife, Jennifer); granddaughters, Emily, Clair and Audrey. Ben is also survived by one brother, James O. Prior (wife, Jan), of Peru.

After two years of service in the US. Army as a mechanic in the motor pool, Ben returned to his employment on the Nickel Plate Road, Chesapeake and Ohio Railway (CSX Freight and Passenger service as engineer) and retired with 42 years of service. Since retiring in 2001, Ben enjoyed  much of the summer seasons helping to move rides, selling tickets, and running for supplies on Mike and Jennifer’s carnival midway. Ben was also known as JB Prior (railroad call name) and enjoyed telling stories of railroad trips and derailments.

Ben was a lifelong member of The Oakdale Baptist Church. He was also a member of the United Transportation Union (enginemen) Peru Moose Lodge, The American Legion, and the International Independent Showman’s Association (carnival operators club in Gibsonton, Fla.).

Friends may call from 2 to 8 p.m. today at Flowers-Leedy Funeral Home in Peru where the funeral services will be at 10 a.m. Friday with Pastor Trent Eikenberry officiating. Burial will be in Westlawn Cemetery in Denver. There also will be a military service by the Miami County military rites team.

Memorial contributions may be made to Oakdale Baptist Church through the funeral home.