Ben Shoemake

Ben Shoemake
Ben Shoemake

Ben Shoemake, 70, of Amarillo, TX, passed away on March 20, 2021.

Ben was born in Winters, TX, on January 31, 1951, the son of the Reverend Billy Thomas Shoemake and Velma Shoemake, a schoolteacher. Ben was the youngest of three siblings, Bill, Bob, and Betty. The family certainly came from modest beginnings but was full of characters with a high degree of integrity. In high school, Ben moved with his parents to Spearman, TX, where he was active and athletic. He competed as a high jumper, placing 6th in the state of Texas in 1969, and setting district records that lasted almost four decades. He could even dunk a basketball standing flatfooted as a sophomore. To his sons’ dismay, he didn’t pass any of those abilities onto them.

Ben married the love of his life, Gail, at the age of 22 in Amarillo. He was a devoted husband, selfless partner, and Godly leader in their home for 47 ½ years. They have two sons, Todd and Matt, and later added two wonderful daughters-in-love Jennifer and Melissa. Ben’s grandkids, Lyle and Colvin, brought new levels of laughter and happiness to his life.

Ben worked tirelessly to give his sons life opportunities he never had and succeeded admirably. Every time he earned a bonus or a small windfall, he was immediately investing it right back into his family. He rarely did things for himself, and only then it was when somebody practically forced his hand. He taught his boys the important things in life: how to tie a necktie, the finer points of a perfect fishing knot, and the lost arts of driving stick and keeping a cheap car running. More importantly, they learned by his example and instruction how everyone is worthy of kindness, patience, and dignity. In a world with many bad examples, Ben taught his boys what it is to be a good man.

Ben worked for 38 years at Turnkey Computers where he was most recently a field service manager. He oversaw computer network systems for cattle feed yards, enjoying rich relationships with both colleagues and customers. Like elsewhere in his life, he was known professionally for his selfless service and sacrifice.

Ben and Gail were very active in their community and developed rich friendships over many years at The Church at Quail Creek. He served as a deacon, on the board of trustees, and as a leader in their life group. Ben’s faith was foundational to him his whole life and only grew stronger with each passing year. He preferred to live by example rather than preach his faith to others.

Ben was kind and patient to his wife, children, and everyone he interacted with. He was embarrassed to be in the same room as a compliment for himself and only ever bragged on others. He enjoyed the outdoors and spent many quality hours fishing with friends, family, and his boys. He also had the rare ability to be both mechanically and technically inclined, so his humble expertise was always a luxury to receive when troubleshooting a problem. He stayed well-versed on the latest gadgets, cameras, and electronics trends. But hands down his favorite thing was spending time with family and friends. And he let you know that was what mattered.

Ben died a very rich man. While he isn’t leaving behind a large estate or fortune, it’s apparent he built an immense wealth of relationships, community, joy, and memories which he freely shared with those he came into contact with. His genuine kindness and patience infected everyone he rubbed shoulders with. We can all honor his memory by sharing more patience and kindness with one another.

Survivors include his wife, Gail; sons Todd and wife Jennifer of Albuquerque and Matt and wife Melissa, and grandsons Lyle and Colvin of Atlanta, Georgia; brothers Bill and wife Lu of Abilene; and Bob and wife Diane of Richmond, Virginia; brother-in-law Jim Johnson and wife Jan; mother-in-law Faye Watkins; sister-in-law Melanie Sweet; brother-in-law Mike Todd of Liberal, Kansas; many nephews and nieces, and a lot of amazing friends from the CrossRoads Life Group at TCQC.

Service will be held at The Church at Quail Creek at 11:00 AM Friday, March 26, 2021, with Kyle Clayton officiating. Burial will be at Llano Cemetery. Arrangements are made by Boxwell Brothers Funeral Directors, 2800 Paramount Blvd. Please wear a mask to the service at The Church at Quail Creek.

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts can be given to The Church at Quail Creek.

Use this link to livestream the service:

21 Replies to “Ben Shoemake”

  1. Gail, sorry for his passing. He did one true miracle by his closeness to God and with prayer and God’s might got a tape to restore from a manufacturer made problem when one of the feedyard’s lost their harddrive and had to restore but no tape could be read… (Don thought everything was lost too….) So just 2 more and the Catholic Church should add him to the lists of Saints!

  2. I received a call today (5-21-21) from the Spearman High School class of which Ben was a member as they are searching for him for this year’s school reunion. I was so shocked to Google him and find his obituary. No one up here knew, or, if they did, they certainly did not let anyone of us at the church know. I had located Ben as we made preparations for the centennial celebration for the church which, obviously, never happened, thanks to Covid, but Ben never responded to my reaching out. I remember him well from his time in Spearman. He was a sweet, thoughtful, quiet and sincere teenager, and he loved the Lord. My heartfelt sympathy goes out to his wife, his sons, and their families. My prayers will continue over all of you for the peace and comfort that only our Savior can bring in the time of such a loss. My heart hurts for your family. May God bless and be very close to you. I am thankful for your church family at Quail Creek.
    Carol Pack

  3. I just learned of Ben’s passing. I met Ben back in the early days of Turnkey and worked with him of and on since the 80’s. He was the nicest, most considerate man. Thoroughly professional, likable, kind, and though we never talked religion, I’m not a bit surprised to read of his love for Christ. He lived it in every thing he did. My prayers to his family and all who loved him.

  4. As a client of Turnkey Computer Systems for over 30 years, I always appreciated Ben’s helpful nature and wonderful service. May God bless and comfort his family.

  5. Gail my heart goes out to you, Todd, Mike and all of your extended family, you are all in my prayers. Gail, you and Ben were so great to me after I lost my sweet husband, Ron. It’s been an honor calling you both friends. You were both great leaders in our Life Group at TCQC. Gail I know you are a strong Christian woman and will get through this sad time. I often think of when you and Ben helped me pack up my mothers things when she passed away. Thank you, for your and Ben’s love to all of us in our Life Group through out the years.

  6. So many memories of a precious Christian man. Although Ben will be greatly missed by family and friends, he walked with God each and every day, and now he is living his reward. May God comfort you, Gail, as only He can.

  7. I am blessed to be able to call Ben my friend; what a kind, generous, loving man he was. I am deeply saddened by his passing and my heartfelt condolences go out to his family and friends. I pray for grace, strength, and love during this difficult time. Thank God for bringing Ben Shoemake into our lives, and bringing us closer to Him.

  8. To the friends and family of Ben I wish you peace in the coming time to deal with your grief over our loss. Ben was giant among men and the best co-worker you could ever ask for. I couldn’t even begin to count the times he helped or offered help in the years we worked together. He always had a kind word and a smile even during the long days and difficult customer issues. Ben was a professional in every sense of the word and the world is a much better place having had him. It goes without saying, but I’m sure many have, that anything your Turnkey family can do to ease your pain during this time would be our pleasure. There are many who would consider it an honor to help. Condolences to all.

  9. I share with so very many grief over Ben’s passing and love for this fine man, his precious wife, Gail, and his family.

    Ben offered me his friendship when we were in primary school together in Winters, Texas, in the 1950s. That friendship began with childhood and early teen years of sharing together Sunday School, Training Union and Sunday night worship services, Wednesday night services, summertime Vacation Bible School, Royal Ambassador meetings, and much more at our First Baptist Church, where his father pastored; sleepovers; impromptu football games with scads of friends on the grass between their parsonage and the church’s old sanctuary; B-B gun shooting, playing, and hiking along the banks of Bluff Creek on the outskirts of town; games of rotation, 8-ball, and snooker in George Briley’s family-friendly pool hall on North Main Street; trips to and fro in his early ‘60s red VW bug; and school classes, sports, and extracurricular activities.

    And the friendship continued after Ben’s family moved to Spearman, in the Texas Panhandle, during high school and for all his years as an adult in Amarillo and mine living here and there.

    Ben’s lifetime of humble giving, serving, guiding, leading, and relishing life’s moments has enriched the lives of innumerable people and filled their hearts with untold treasured memories. I’m deeply grateful to be one of those most fortunate people.

  10. Mr. Shoemake was a quiet guy who I’ve known most of my life. He never said much but I could see in his eyes that he was thinking and saying more! Im thankful he lived and died surrounded by love.

  11. Ben was one of the kindest, best men I have ever had the privilege to work with. Every interaction with Ben was enjoyable. Even in stressful situations, Ben was even-keeled, professional, and pleasant. It was an honor to know him. Prayers of peace and comfort to you, Gail.

  12. Ben was a wonderful Christian man! Gail, I know you are sad and hurting beyond words. Please know that you, Todd and Matt as well as your extended family are in my thoughts and prayers. I pray God will bless you with comfort and a peace that passeth all understanding. I love you, Trisha

  13. One of the best, if not the best, Christian man I knew. You couldn’t help but love him. Always so generous and helpful in whatever anyone needed. Gail, you and Ben complimented one another like pie & ice cream. You can have one, but it sure is better with both. My prayers continue for Gail, Todd & Matt. Surely going to miss you Ben…

  14. Our hearts are broken and saddened, but not for Ben, as we know he is having a wonderful time in Heaven walking and talking with his Savior. Our hearts hurt for Gail, Todd, Matt and their families. Our prayers are offered up on your behalf. Fred and I have such fond memories of the times we spent together in our younger years. God bless and comfort all of you as you grieve. All of our love.

  15. Ben was a very special person to everyone he met. He and Gail and our Life group ministered to me when my husband passed away. We know that Ben is celebrating in the presence of God and Jesus. We that are left look forward to our reunion in heaven. Praise the Lord come soon.

  16. So blessed to have been counted as a friend of Ben and Gail! So many sweet memories of all the Showmakes…. Praying for each of you as you walk through these hard days. You are loved by so many! RIP sweet Ben. 💕

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