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Obituary

Benjamin Noble Metz Belzer

July 22, 2020 | 56 comments

Our Beloved Ben

Benjamin Noble Metz Belzer was born to Lisa Metz Belzer and Keith Belzer on March 23, 1995.  His beautiful light was called to ascend on July 18, 2020, ushered by celestial steeds and guided across the universe by the comet’s cosmic path.   

Ben was a young man of exceptional character and talents.  Known for his compassion and down to earth nature, Ben was good to be around.  His artful wit was complimented by his beguiling smile and that twinkle in his eye. His nature was gentle and modest, and his energy was calm. His work and play were fueled by deep passions.  From his driving drum beats to his scholarly rigor, the intensity of his focus was balanced with humble gratitude and kindness.

Ben and his older brother and best friend Griffin were blessed to find life long friends from their earliest years of attending Three Rivers Waldorf School and SOTA I & II in La Crosse, Wisconsin.  A 2013 graduate of Logan High School,  Ben participated in Badger Boy State and Mock Trial Team.  He also was known for his trend-setting hair and had quite a fan following as a drummer in Of the Fact, a band he, Griffin and friends started in their parents’ garage.  He was a scholar and an athlete.  He played baseball, football, basketball and recently had taken up golf.  He also enjoyed a good game: ping pong, pickle ball, poker with his Dad, Griffin and friends; or spoons with his Mom, Gramma, aunts and cousins. Along with his father and brother, Ben was an avid Cubs fan. He loved music and attending festivals with his brother and friends. Despite his busy professional life in Madison, he had recently discovered the joy of cooking and the ritual of preparing a good steak dinner accompanied by a superb glass of wine. His fine taste extended beyond food; his style was impeccable: he was a classy guy. 

Ben was always kind and giving, donating blood as often as possible and as a tissue donor he will continue to save and improve many lives. And Ben was an animal lover- if there was a dog around you could usually find it with its head parked on Ben’s lap.

In 2017, Ben graduated from UW Madison with a double major in political science and business.  A devoted Beta Theta Pi brother, he served his fraternity as Recruitment Chair.

In college he continued honing his political interests as a legislative assistant at the Wisconsin State Capitol, as an intern for Wisconsin Congressman Ron Kind, and working for Blumenfeld Associates and International Paper.  A Wisconsin boy through and through, he then went on to serve as Executive Assistant to his mentor, Governor Tony Evers.

Insightful, compassionate and wise, Ben was somebody you could really count on: a respected and responsible professional, a solid friend, a loving son and brother.  He was loved and admired by all who knew him. He will be forever in our hearts.  

Ben is survived by his mother, Lisa Metz; father Keith Belzer (Jane Klekamp) brother Griffin Belzer (Laurie Pochette), grandmothers Lynn Harlan (John Tonnis) and Carol Choma and step grandmothers Liz Carlin Metz, Sally Belzer (Ann Kluzinski) and Dianna Belzer.  Additional surviving family members include Ronnah Metz, Duncan Metz Beard (Angela Devenport) Ambrose Metz Beard, Brian Beard, Kym (Chris) Tinnerella, Zander and Addison Tinnerella, Candace Choma Boler (Leo Boler), Leo IV and Oliver Boler, Craig Choma (Jennifer Smith), Aiden and Autumn Choma; Kristopher Choma (Joanna), Stephen and Julia Choma.

Ben is preceded in death by grandfathers Robin Metz, Steve Choma, Robert Belzer and Ivan Harlan.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial scholarship in Ben’s name has been established at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

https://www.supportuw.org/giveto/BelzerMemorial

Anyone wishing to donate to the memorial fund via check, please include “Ben Belzer Memorial Fund, 132700020” on the memo line.

A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, July 25, 2020, from 4-6pm.  In keeping with Ben’s values, we plan to have a safe Celebration and ask friends to drive through Myrick Park to share their memories and condolences while wearing masks.

To view Ben’s tribute video, please copy and paste the following link into your web browser.

https://www.tributeslides.com/tributes/show/K4NQQP5Z8FG8RYSG

Condolences

56 Comments

  1. Sincerely, Pat Hibbs

    So very sad to learn of Ben’s passing. Such a beautiful person gone far too soon. My heart goes out to all who had the privilage of knowing Ben, like I, one of his Harry Spence teachers.

    Reply
    • Nancy & Andy Matchett

      The depth of your sadness must be unfathomable. Ben was such a good person and deserved the bright future he had ahead of him. May you eventually find some comfort in the happy memories you have of him. We are keeping you in our thoughts and in our hearts.

      Reply
  2. Kathy Schnitzius

    My heart goes out to you and your families. What an unthinkable loss to process. You will be in my thoughts.

    Reply
    • Kim Henderson

      I am so sorry and heartbroken for you and your family, Keith. Such an unimaginable loss to bear, and my thoughts and prayers for strength are with you today and always.

      Reply
  3. Shari L Locante

    Keith – I am very sorry for the loss of your dear, Ben. I was a recent witness to your justifiable pride in the man he had become. His passing is an unimaginable horror. I wish I could offer something to ease the pain. If there is anything I can do, please call on me. I know that Ben is constantly on your mind and I hope that loving thoughts of him give you some measure of comfort. You and your family are in my thoughts. Peace, my friend. Shari

    Reply
  4. Judy and Dan Timmons

    Keith and Jane ~ Sending love and prayers for strength and hope to you and all who love Ben. Your Minneapolis family loves you and is here for you now and always.

    Reply
  5. Becky Spanjers

    Words cannot convey the enormity of this loss. Keith, Jane and Belzer family, John Raymond and I are with you heart and soul as you experience this loss. May your hearts and souls feel the power of healing with those of us who care so much about you.

    Reply
  6. Becky Spanjers

    Words cannot convey the enormity of this loss. Keith, Jane and Belzer family, John Raymond and I are with you heart and soul as you experience this loss. So much caring in this message….

    Reply
    • Lori Niebuhr

      Keith- I cannot imagine your loss. I didn’t know Ben but if he had your compassion and values, he will be deeply missed. Take care and many prayers for your peace and comfort.

      Reply
    • Kelly I. Mahoney

      Lisa… Thoughts and prayers to you my sister and friend. May you have peace that passes all understanding. Knowing you will keep forever sacred Ben’s memory. Strength grace and fortitude to you…

      Reply
  7. Maureen Freedland

    I have a very clear memory of Keith being asked why he didn’t want to run for another term on the County Board, and answering that you only have a certain amount of time when your children are young to have an impact on them, and it was his time then for that. I know he was deeply devoted to both his boys and I am guessing that Ben was a lot like Keith, for all good. May Ben’s memory always be for a blessing.

    Reply
  8. Terry Visger

    I am so sorry for your loss. I met your boys on several occasions, and, while I wasn’t able to get to know them well, I could tell they were very special kids. I have a vivid memory of a storytelling festival meeting at Diggers. Keith brought the boys and I was so impressed by them and their maturity as we talked on and on. Ben was a special person and his loss will be felt by many. My thoughts are with you and your family.

    Reply
    • Betsy Morgan

      My deepest sympathy. Too great a loss.

      Reply
  9. Deb Markos Kollross

    I am so very sorry to hear about Ben. A young life taken way too soon. I can still see him in the halls at Logan. Always a smile and a hello. I was impressed with his intelligence and drive. My heart aches for the family… rest in peace.

    Reply
    • Kelly Wesley

      So sorry for the loss of an amazing young man and such a good friend to my son Dylan Wesley. The loss of a child has to be the worst kind of pain. Sending the family prayers to help the long road to healing. Hope you can find comfort in the memories with Ben. 💚💚

      Reply
  10. John J. Perlich

    Keith, I can not imagine the pain in your heart. I wish I could find words that would help ease the burden for you and your family. There are no such words, and while the loss will always be there, the love of your family and friends will help ease the burden. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for a shoulder to lean on.

    Reply
  11. Mike Desmond

    Keith….Words can not express my deep sadness for you and your family. What an unimaginable loss. You have been and will continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.

    Mike

    Reply
  12. MaryEllyn Mattison-Doerr

    My heart hurts with the news of your loss.

    Reply
  13. Chris Hubbuch

    I’m so sorry for your loss, Keith. I cannot imagine the pain of losing a child. While I didn’t have the privilege of meeting Ben I have heard nothing but high praise for him. His loss is a tragedy for all of us. My deepest condolences to you and your family.

    Reply
  14. Teri Barthelmes

    Sending Love and Light and holding you in our hearts. Dave and Teri Barthelmes

    Reply
  15. Maribeth Solverson

    Keith, I am so deeply sorry for the loss of your beloved Ben. I can’t even imagine the depth of your agony. How blessed you each were to be in each other’s lives. Ben is a deep reflection of your loving parenting…he exemplified this through his accomplishments, loving nature, & sense of humor. Please reach out to your many friends & colleagues for support. This is too painful to bear alone. If there is anything I can do to ease your pain, please call.

    Reply
  16. Dr. Shandowlyon Hendricks-Williams

    Ben’s impeccable character is definitely reflective of his strong familial and community upbringing. We miss him deeply and pray for his family and friends.
    Dr. Shandowlyon Hendricks-Williams
    Office of the Governor
    Milwaukee Director

    Reply
  17. Marilyn Townsend

    May you be comforted by the outpouring of love for Ben from around the State, and how his presence brought joy to all who knew him. My deepest sympathy for the loss of Ben.

    Reply
    • Dan and Becky Deetz

      We are stunned by your loss. Ben was a special part of our Three Rivers family.

      Reply
      • Diane Pedace

        Dear Keith and Jane, I am heartbroken beyond words for both of you, for Griffin and for all of Ben’s family and friends. I wish the enormous love and prayers being sent your way could help ease the unbearable pain of your loss and give you comfort. Our sincerest condolences, Diane, Bill, and John

        Reply
  18. Joyce Downs

    My deepest sympathies to all of the Belzer, Choma and Metz family. I never had the privilege of meeting Ben, but after reading all of the lovely tributes, I wish I had known this amazing young man. Words cannot express the heartfelt pain in losing such a wonderful son, brother, grandson, nephew or friend. Please know that you are all in my thoughts and my prayers that you will be comforted and find peace. May God bless you with the strength and courage to get through this most difficult time. My love to all of you, Joyce

    Reply
  19. Eileen H Upton

    I would like to express my deep sadness in the loss of your precious son. And trusting that the memories you hold in your heart give you comfort and peace in your sorrow.

    Reply
  20. Lisa Kruse

    Keith and Jane, my heartfelt sympathies for you. What a devastating loss. Thank you for sharing this narrative of his life. What a brilliant and remarkable person. Much love and peace to you both and the Belzer and Metz families.

    Reply
  21. Mike and Sara McCormick

    Words cannot express the deep sadness in our hearts. Ben’s obituary is written so beautifully and described him perfectly. He was a darling and kind little boy when he attended SOTA and that is when we knew him best. How proud you must be of him and all he accomplished in his life that ended way too soon. You are in our thoughts.

    Reply
  22. Paula Murphy

    A soul’s coming and going marked and noted. Love and compassion will fill the space he left behind.

    Reply
  23. Caden Pohnl

    Every day since hearing this news about Ben, I’ve woken up hoping it was all just a dream. I went to high school and had many, many classes with Ben. He was always so nice to everyone, incredibly smart, and passionate about music. Most importantly, I deeply admired how Ben was not afraid to be himself, no matter what.

    We weren’t by any means close friends outside of Logan High School, but because we were at the same academic level and on the same path through school, we had a majority of our classes together. I can remember doing so many class projects with Ben over our four years of high school and even though we came from different circles, he was always so kind to me and welcomed me with open arms. Ben was often one of the people I’d tell myself, “man, I wish I could be more like him!”

    He worked so hard after high school and worked to make a difference for Wisconsin. As you can see, the Governor himself chose Ben to be one of the five people he was allowed to be in contact with during the pandemic. He was so valued and hardworking.

    The Warehouse, a music venue in La Crosse, posted a picture of Ben this week and the caption really struck me. They said- “ My [The original author] only real comforting thought is this: maybe John Lewis needed a personal assistant in heaven, and that is where you [Ben] rushed off to.” Knowing Ben, that’s exactly what he’s doing- continuing to make a change and standing up for what he believes in.

    Rest easy Ben, you’ll be so very missed by so many people, even those who you may have never known you had an impact on- especially all of us in the Logan High School graduating class of 2013.

    Reply
  24. Laurie Rogers

    Lisa and Keith, This is such a beautiful description and memory of Ben. I am holding you close in my heart right now. I wish I could offer you some comfort at this time. I was witness to your teamwork in parenting back when I too was navigating the challenges and joys of raising children. Both of you always kept your boys at the very top of your priority list, there was no doubt in their minds that they were loved unconditionally. And that base of such amazing parental love shows. Please know I am here for you in whatever way I can support you. With love, Laurie

    Reply
  25. CRAIG THOMPSON

    I only got to know Ben for a short time. Way too short of a time. But in my brief time knowing Ben I felt like we had been friends for a long time. He simply had that demeanor and openness and presence. It is very hard to find words for a loss such as this but I certainly know Ben’s impression will be left on me -and all of the members of Governor Ever’s team that he came in contact with – for a long-long time.

    Reply
  26. Beth & Chad Oness

    We are so sorry for your loss — I know he was such a light & comfort you during his time here.

    Reply
    • Kalpana

      I haven’t met Ben but I have always enjoyed seeing his pictures and loved the stories you shared with us about him. May god give you the strength you need to handle this tough time. Hold on to all the great memories really tight. I always look up to your motherhood for raising such a wonderful boys . My prayers for your healing. ❤️❤️

      Reply
  27. Gretel Stock

    So sorry for your loss, Keith and Jane. Much love and peace to you and your family.

    Reply
  28. Lynne Valiquette

    Lisa, Keith, Griffin, and Lynn, I am so sorry about your loss of Ben. He added so much to this world. We need more people like him. You and your extended family are in my thoughts. The memorial scholarship in his name is a fitting tribute and will continue his spirit and name in the lives of the many who will benefit from it.

    Reply
  29. cathy, geo, av

    We are so sorry for this tragic loss for your family and for our world. We are holding you all deep in our hearts. I hope you can draw on the love and support so many of us are sending your way.

    Reply
  30. Joe Veenstra

    Sending what seem like the most inadequate yet necessary condolences to Ben’s entire family over the tragic loss of your Ben. I enjoyed watching him play drums and grow up when I ran into him on occasion. I’m so very sorry about what happened and my thoughts are with you. I hope you gain some level of peace over time.

    Joe Veenstra

    Reply
  31. Vie Matty

    So sad to hear the news Metz Belzer families. It was shared by a coworker, Neil, who remembers Ben fondly from when Ben hung out with his son. I remember Ben from when he used to help out at the Children’s Festival Lisa. My heart goes out to your families. We were all blessed to have known him.

    Reply
  32. Julie Keitel

    Keith, Jane and family,

    He must have been some kid, and just getting started in what looks like would have been a big life. Wish I had more comforting words, he will always be in your hearts.
    Julie

    Reply
  33. Peter Barca

    Dear Mr. and Mrs. Belzer and Belzer Family,

    Please accept my deepest condolences on your unfathomable loss of your son Ben. As the Secretary of Revenue I was able to interact with Ben periodically, either when we traveled together with the Governor or at various significant state events. He was always a terrific professional and such a positive force and someone I looked forward to interacting with on any occasion. I especially appreciated his upbeat personality and ability to connect with anyone on our team.

    Please know he is someone that was a wonderful reflection of Wisconsin values from the saying Wisconsin nice, to being caring about those around him, to wholesome values, as well as so many other qualities we come to appreciate as the best of our great state. Thank you for raising such a fine person and please know other key leaders I serve with at the Wisconsin Department of Revenue have discussed how we share in your grief, as we all feel we lost a trusted colleague, friend and someone who will long be remembered!

    Most Sincerely,

    Peter Barca

    Reply
  34. Toni Asher

    To all family and friends – although I didn’t have the joy of knowing Ben, I know many of you and my heart goes out to you all in this time of incredible loss. May you be comforted by good memories and the love that surrounds you.

    Reply
  35. Katherine Schnell Daniels

    Keith, I have no words just grief for what you must be feeling.

    Reply
  36. Teri (Luedke) Paletta

    I was fortunate to meet Ben who was a great friend to my daughter, Kiana Luedke. Their adventures together will forever be a memory forever in her heart. My condolences to families and friends to this wonderful man.

    Reply
  37. Joyce Teal Taylor

    Lisa, Keith, Griffin, Jane,
    So very sorry for your unimaginable loss.
    May love and precious memories help with the profound
    sadness and pain in your hearts. Joyce

    Reply
  38. Monica Hyde

    Keith, you and your entire family have my deepest sympathy. I will keep all of you in my thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. I was lucky to have known you and the Choma’s as neighbors and friends. Although I never met Ben, the tributes are awesome and reflect a beautiful, loving family. May peace become yours and memories to hold dear.
    Sincerely, Monica Hyde

    Reply
  39. Dean Strang

    Keith, Lisa, and Jane–I can’t imagine that anyone has words that really express this sadness. I know that I don’t.

    Reply
  40. Scott and Sue Horne

    We are so sorry. This is every parent’s nightmare. We are all crushed upon hearing the news. It’s so hard to know what to say–just know you have the love and support of a whole community. He was a wonderful young man.

    Reply
  41. Melinda Knutson & Dave Ford

    Our thoughts are with the family as they process this terrible loss. We remember the boys fondly as they grew up in the UU Fellowship. Our hearts go out to all the family.

    Reply
  42. Vosseteig Fossen Family

    Sweet Ben will be in our hearts and our memories for the rest of our lives. The loss is unfathomable. All that he was and is to you, he will always be.

    Reply
  43. David Boen

    I am so very sorry for your loss. May you find peace and forgiveness.

    Reply
  44. Veronica Heath

    Keith and family, I am so sorry for such an unthinkable loss. I will keep you and your family in my thoughts as you navigate from such a unthinkable and painful event hoping that peace holds and comforts you all.

    Reply
  45. Angela Machi

    Dear Keith, Jane and Family;
    My sincerest condolences on the loss of a very special young man. There are no words to adequately describe the heartbreak of all who know you and your family and Ben. I hope the support and love of friends and family can help fill the void in your heart.

    Reply
  46. Chris Dyer

    What a beautiful tribute. I judged one of Ben’s Mock Trial competitions. It was so quickly apparent that he had “it”. The apple doesn’t fall far. I cannot fathom your loss. I wish you strength and peace.

    Reply
  47. Stacy Shapiro

    We have been thinking of all of you with such heavy hearts. We remember you dearly from our time at Three Rivers Waldorf School. Our hearts go out to you, with love. Stacy (Shapiro), Dan, Hunter and Sawyer Baumgardt

    Reply

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