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Bennett C. Weaver

November 9, 1940 July 14, 2021
Bennett C. Weaver
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Obituary for Bennett C. Weaver

Bennett C. Weaver, age 80, a 49 year resident of Oak Park passed away on July 14, 2021, at West Suburban Hospital. Ben was born in Denton Texas on November 9, 1940, to the late J. Clark and Inez Koegel Weaver. He grew up in Denton, TX and Gainesville, FL.

At age 5, Ben was introduced to the cello at Interlochen Center for the Arts to keep him occupied while his parents were running the summer theater program. By middle school, he was playing in the University of Florida Symphony Orchestra and as a freshman in high school earned the position of first chair of that university orchestra. His talent as a cellist earned him a scholarship to study music at Swathmore College in Pennsylvania where he studied for a year before returning to Gainesville to study Physics at the University of Florida. He continued to play cello at the University of Florida where he met a flutist and hematology major, Donna Harpold. Ben was also a member of ROTC.

Ben married Donna in Bradenton, FL in 1964. Their first daughter Amy was born in Gainesville, FL in 1966 a few months before moving to Illinois so both of them could work in the lab at St. Mary of Nazareth Hospital on the west side of Chicago. Their second daughter Susan was born in Oak Park, IL in 1970. The couple separated in 1972. The two remained very good friends. Donna introduced Ben to Patricia Funk with whom he had a 20-year relationship until she passed away in 2003.

In the late 60s, Ben secured a position at CNA Insurance in the actuarial department. He began writing computer programs to set reserves at CNA and in the late 70s moved over to Harris Bank as an analyst where he worked until retiring in 2001. In retirement, Ben was a paid computer consultant and helped continue his father’s work on the Weaver family genealogical history. It was through his work at CNA and Harris that his interest in personal computing began.

He was a beloved and revered 'computer geek' to all that knew him. In the early 1980s, Ben purchased an IBM PC for use at home and over the next four decades built and upgraded his own and hundreds of computers for others. In 1983 was a founding member of the Association of Personal Computer Users (APCU), one of the oldest general computer groups in America. He was also a member of the Chicago Area Database Users Group (CADBUG) and held various leadership roles in both. In recent years he often facilitated ‘Random Access,’ a question and answer discussion at monthly APCU meetings. He remained knowledgeable and could explain new computer hardware to the technically inclined and novice alike, using terms that took into account how the questioner had asked.

His insatiable curiosity and drive to solve problems resulted in knowledge about seemingly everything. He enjoyed sharing this knowledge and had a way of explaining complex concepts using simple analogies or technical terms depending on the audience. His daughter Susan has often remarked, “I know why the sky is blue, why scuba divers go backward into the water over the side of the boat, and why phases of the moon and lunar eclipses happen because my Dad knew and had the patience to explain.”

A friend since meeting at CNA in 1969 recalled the most impactful and profound statement he’d ever heard came from Ben. On his first day, while Ben was showing him around the various gathering places in the building, he reached into his pocket, pulled out a plastic fork, and said, ‘Always carry a fork because you never know when they are going to be having a party.’

He was always finding ways to help friends, family, and strangers alike. From serving several years as ‘Cookie Mom’ for both his daughter's Girl Scout troops to helping countless stranded motorists jump-start their car, Ben was always willing to pitch in and help. He was shot 3 times on the west side of Chicago after walking a co-worker home after a late office function and that didn't stop him. Did you need to move suddenly? Ben would find a van and show up to help load it. He was a true Renaissance man with carpentry, electric, plumbing, and all-around fix-it skills as well. He helped and advised family and friends, with all kinds of household projects up until recent months. He also had a profound effect on his daughters’ friends for the insight and assistance he provided where needed, whenever needed.

His friendship with Cheryl McNamara, a former coworker at CNA, began when he reached out with helpful information after her husband passed. He was helpful and supportive and the two eventually came to enjoy a close relationship over the last 13 years.

His dry sense of humor, quick wit, kindness, and vast knowledge will be greatly missed. He is survived by his loving companion Cheryl McNamara, Willowbrook, IL; friend and former wife Donna Weaver, River Forest, IL; and daughters Amy Weaver, Elmwood Park, IL and Susan (Russ) Northrup, Champaign, IL.

A memorial visitation will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday July 22 at Drechsler, Brown & Williams Funeral Home, 203 S. Marion St., Oak Park. In lieu of flowers, donations to Alzheimer’s Association (alz.org) are appreciated.

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Previous Events

Memorial Visitation

Thursday

22

Jul

4:00 PM 7/22/2021 4:00:00 PM - 7:00 PM 7/22/2021 7:00:00 PM
Drechsler Brown & Williams Funeral Home

203 South Marion Street
Oak Park, IL 60302

Drechsler Brown & Williams Funeral Home
203 South Marion Street Oak Park 60302 IL
United States

Memorial Contribution

Alzheimer's Association

Greater Illinois Chapter
225 N. Michigan Ave., Fl. 17
Chicago, IL 60601
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