Benjamin Correlje



A Graveside Service will be held at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 23, 2022 at Westlawn Memorial Gardens (16310 Stony Plain Rd, Edmonton).

A Celebration of Life will take place at 1:30 pm, Saturday, July 23, 2022, at Crestwood Community Hall (14325-96 Ave.) Please join us!

It is with profound sorrow that we announce the passing of our much-loved husband, Dad, and Opa, after a 2-year journey with pancreatic cancer. Until the very end Ben did it his way, dying peacefully at home, surrounded by love.

Ben was principled, compassionate, intelligent, fun-loving, and viewed the world through unprejudiced eyes. He valued hard work, honesty, and experiences over possessions. Ben lived his life simply, honorably, and to the absolute fullest. He truly was one of the good ones and will be greatly missed by all whose lives he touched.

Ben was born and raised in Edmonton, by his parents Frans and Anna Correlje, who emigrated from the Netherlands in 1952. Along with his two older brothers, Bob and Dave, Ben had a fulfilling childhood, growing up in the Pleasantview neighborhood. Ben graduated from Harry Ainlay high school in 1973 and began working for the Canadian Pacific Railway. Starting in 1974, he attended the University of Alberta, majoring in the Sciences, while continuing to work for CP. He also joined the Kappa Sigma Fraternity where he met some of his lifelong friends. It was through fraternity events that he also met his future wife, Marlie, who was a Delta Gamma. They went on their first date on July 23, 1978, to see The Eagles in concert.

Shortly after university, Ben left CP rail and got a job as a commercial and industrial insulator, earning his journeyman ticket, while patiently waiting for the end of the hiring freeze at the Edmonton Fire Department (EFD). Ben and Marlie were married on March 14, 1981, and bought their first (and last) home in Parkview in 1982. After a several months long backpacking trip through the Cook Islands, New Zealand, Australia, and Fiji, Marlie came home pregnant, giving birth to Katie on December 18, 1984. A second daughter, Kristen, was born on November 16, 1986. When the hiring freeze at the EFD finally ended, Ben applied and was hired in April 1988, proudly landing his dream job. A few years later, on March 22, 1991, Adam arrived, completing the Correlje family.

Ben proudly served with the Edmonton Fire Department for 27 years, retiring as a Captain in 2015. He loved the action and camaraderie of his job, but especially enjoyed taking on the unofficial role of Chef, cooking massive meals for the boys at the hall. It was there that he tested and honed many of his recipes that his family loves so much. What he loved most about working for the EFD was that it gave him the time and flexibility to be more involved with his true passions: his family, friends, and community. Between summers at the windmill cabin, camping, and cheering for the Edmonton Eskimos; winters skiing the slopes or relaxing in Mazatlan; coaching his children's soccer teams; hosting, dj'ing, and dancing at 35+ years of Solstice parties; experimenting in the kitchen; and an endless list of renovations and projects, his time was well spent.

Retirement was a perfect fit for Ben. He loved to travel, managing trips to Europe and Southeast Asia. He and Marlie especially embraced driving different routes to Mazatlan for five winters, discovering the western areas of the US and Mexico.

In recent years, his greatest joy was his grandchildren. He revelled in being their Opa and watching them grow, spending as much time with them as possible. When he learned of his diagnosis, his first thought was, “What if they don’t remember me?”, and it broke his heart.

Left to cherish his memory are his wife of 41 years, Marlie (nee van Soest); his children, Katie (Mitch) Boyd, Kristen, and Adam; his brother Bob (Connie); his grandchildren, Benjamin, and Ellie. Also, the in-laws and partners: Celia Correlje, Barry (Linda) Keohan, Anita (van Soest) Gaylard, John (Shannon) van Soest, Frank (Anne Brown) van Soest, Teresa (Bernie) Wanat, Robert (Lorraine) van Soest, Richard (Wynne Shapka) van Soest. As well as 19 nieces and nephews (and partners); and 19 great-nieces and nephews.

Ben was predeceased by his parents, Frans and Anna Correlje; brother, David Correlje; niece, Brittany (Correlje) Mayer; father-in-law, John van Soest; and sister-in-law, Yvonne (van Soest) Keohan.

Ben wanted to express his gratitude to his brother Bob, the extensive van Soest family, and his friends for the outpouring of love and support, especially these last two years. He felt lovingly embraced and it gave him strength.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Edmonton Firefighter Burn Treatment Society, 7024 101 Ave NW, Edmonton, Alberta T6A 0H7.

In Loving Memory of
Benjamin Correlje
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Westlawn Memorial Gardens
10132-163 Street
Edmonton, AB
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