Benjamin Duane Sunderland


SUNDERLAND, Benjamin Duane

July 15, 1961 ~ January 1, 2020

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Benjamin Duane Sunderland at the age of 58.

Benjamin will be lovingly remembered by his best friend and partner, Sherilyn Boney Grovet; mother, Viola Guerra Sunderland; brothers, Harry Jr. (Connie) Sunderland, Ted Sunderland; sisters, Sue (Mel) Sauder, and Rita (Shawn) Roberts.

Benjamin was predeceased by his father, Harry Sunderland Sr.

As per Benjamin’s wishes, no funeral service will be held.

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Harry Sunderland

My first memory of Benny was when he first came home from the hospital. I ran out to the driveway, and asked to hold him and carry him into the house. Only being 4 years old, my mother was afraid I’d drop him.
Years later I understood Ben was way smarter than I in so many ways. The first time I realized this fact was when Benny got in trouble he would run like the wind from the stinging swing of the leather strap. I would simply take the full punishment. Later my dad confessed to me that he thought he wasn’t hurting me! I was just too dumb to run!
As time went by I was amazed just how naturally talented Benny was. He (as far as I know) taught himself to play the guitar and sing. He even had the guts to get in the talent programs in the Adventist Academy. I was truly in awe of him!
I doubt if many people knew how strong his hands were. He took after my father in this respect. I’ve seen my dad take one finger and hit a grown man in the side and here that grown man scream in pain. His fingers were like steel. So were my brother Ben’s hands. I say this because one day I was replacing a tire and wheel on our diesel delivery truck a Ford LN9000. As I had placed all the lug nuts on and had hand tightened them, Benny walked up and asked me if he could try and tighten them by hand. I laughed and just walked away. When I came back and put the large wheel lug nut wrench on the lugs, I could barely get one nut to move even a little bit.
I love both my brothers (and my sisters too.) and have many fond memories of them, but not enough since I was so much older. But I cherish some till this day. One with my brothers the only year we were in grade school together.
The young teacher we had was just out of college and was very strong and liked to show some of his strength. So one recess (the last of the day) he challenged all the young boys to a wrestling match in that he would be on his hands and knees and see if all the boys could pin him down. I watched with glee as all the boys took the challenge and dog piled the young teacher. My brothers were in the thick of it. He just would not fall till someone a little older and stronger pulled his legs out from beneath him. He must have risen 3 times till he was too tired to overcome all the weight on him. I walked away laughing and amazed that my too little brothers seemed to be doing he lions share in keeping him down.
I hope to see my brother Benny soon in the Earth made new. Jesus said He has prepared a mansion for us there. How sad to see the place he made for you empty. He said He is not willing that any should perish, but that all should have eternal life. The choice is yours. Today is the day of your salvation. We are not guaranteed the rest of this day nor are we promised tomorrow. Choose life. He gave His for you.

Sue Sunderland Sauder

My little brother, “Benny,” as we called him growing up, was born on my third birthday. As young children, we usually sided with one another during quarrels with our other siblings and we even had our tonsils removed on the same day. Although distance had separated us, I loved my brother and will always treasure memories of the many great times we had growing up.

Judy A. Sunderland

“A cousin is a little bit of childhood that can never be lost.” – Marion C. Garretty
Rest In Peace, Benjamin

Imelda Izaguirre Smith

I never got to know Ben as an adult. An adult that became a gentle, loving husband, son and brother.
I will always love and treasure all of our childhood
My condolences to all of his family and friends in this time of grief.

Sherilyn Grovet

My Dearest Benjamin, I MISS YOU SO MUCH! These past 8 years with you have been some of my happiest times in my life! You loved me, cared for me, treated me like a queen. We laughed together, cried together, enjoyed each others company. You put beauty all around me with flowers and the beautiful gardens you grew; such a hard worker! You taught me so much about our Heavenly Father, our Creator. I am so grateful for our time together here on earth and look forward to seeing you again! You’re at peace now and I know this and it brings me peace. I just miss coming home to you..I miss my best friend. You are forever in my heart until we meet again. P.S. I’ll make sure the birds and cats are loved and cared for, they loved you so much.

Dan Guerra

After nearly half a century, I was able to connect with Ben (Bear) and Sherilyn to talk about the here and after, and the short bursts we shared in our child lives when were near. He was impassioned, knowledgeable, and very misunderstood by friends and family. He was taken aback, but grateful that I cared to reach out to him. I enjoyed our re-engagement, and chatted with him often. For Ms. Sherilyn: Bear watches over you and his, as he so loves you all – as expressed over and again in our discussions. I am sad our paths did not cross again before he entered Heaven’s gate, but I trust we will cross paths in Heaven- He is loved and will be missed…

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