I first met Ben Allison in 2012 in the Wisconsin Dells while he was playing for the MNJHL’s Dells Ducks. Over the first few weeks of the season we chatted a few times, and I had a chance to get to know him just a little bit.
An intelligent and articulate young man. A student athlete with goals for the future that didn’t solely revolve around playing hockey, but around enjoying the game in any way he could.
He exemplified what it meant to be a Dells Ducks player. If I could define it in one word it would be “selfless”.
This was a young man who would do anything to help anyone and ask nothing in return. Whether he was playing or in the stands he was the quintessential definition of what it meant to be a good team mate.
Benjamin Allison, 20, of Crystal Lake, died at 10:15 a.m. this morning at Advocate BroMenn Regional Medical Center where he was transported after he was found lying in the street Saturday morning.
In a message to ISU students, faculty and staff sent Tuesday morning after Allison’s death, President Larry Dietz said, “Today is a sad day for the Illinois State University family as we mourn the loss of a student, Benjamin Allison. Benjamin died from injuries he suffered on Saturday in a vehicle-pedestrian accident in Normal. Our sincerest condolences go to his family.”
Dietz added that Allison “will be greatly missed by his classmates, friends and his second family at WZND. He was also passionate about hockey and was active in the local and Crystal Lake hockey communities. Many people will lead better lives through Benjamin’s gift as an organ donor.”
He went on to say, “Tragedies like this remind us that life is precious and that we rely on each other for support. We may experience a wide range of emotions and may feel overwhelmed as we work through grief. It is important to remember that we are never alone and that by sharing our thoughts and feelings we will begin to heal.”
Even in death, Ben was still giving. In life there is no better way to leave your mark on the world than to be remembered for your giving and selfless acts.
Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.
Joseph Kolodziej – Publisher