Ben was born on July 22, 1928 to Berlin Nelson Claridge and Maurine Fancher Claridge in Phoenix. He was the stepson of Dale Chamberlin. He passed on January 2, 2021 at Casa de la Luz Tucson, Arizona after a two-month battle with bilateral pneumonia.

Ben is survived by his two daughters; Lori Claridge Bowles (David) and Jan Escalera (Brian); grandson Dalton Bowles, and granddaughters Rachelle Escalera and Amy Gaglione (Marc).

When Ben was a young boy, he got to spend time with his biological father who was cowboying on The Sandy Ranch in Northern Arizona, which is where he got his first taste of ranch life. He graduated from Mark Keppel High School in South San Gabriel, California where he lettered in baseball, basketball and football. 

He grew up in San Gabriel with his two younger brothers, Dale Chamberlin, Jr., and Ron Claridge (both deceased). They did not have a television, so Ben spent a lot of time from a young age playing baseball which he felt led to his successful years as a professional baseball player/catcher. 

He served in the Korean War where he received the Army of Occupation Medal (Japan), Korean Service Medal with bronze star and silver star, and the United Nations Service Medal. 

Shortly after being discharged, he met his wife of 50 years, Patty Galvin Claridge, on a blind date. They were married in Santa Barbara, CA on April 17, 1955. While living in Santa Barbara, Ben worked for General Telephone Company for 32 years as a Supervisor. 

Shortly after retiring, Ben and his wife Patty moved to Sonoita where his hobbies included cowboying and working in his leather shop almost every single day. They remained truly in love until her death in 2005. Another very important person in Ben’s life (after Patty’s passing) was his “gal pal,” Marilyn Isaacks. 

Ben was proud of his honesty and love of God. He loved attending Canelo Cowboy Church, which was a huge part of his life. He loved raising cattle and cowboying, he was a great fisherman, a scratch golfer and a great singer. He was most proud of his accomplishments in his leather shop and the years he spent showing his prize-winning mules at Mule Days in Bishop, California. His favorite motto was “wake up happy every day” which he held true to for 92 years.

Ben was the greatest father and best friend anyone could ask for.