MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - Benjamin Hunter Otradovec, 22, died with his family at his side on Sunday, Feb. 19, 2012, at Fairview Southdale Hospital in Minneapolis, Minn. Ben was born on May 6, 1989, in Fort Knox, Ky., to Donna Thiry and Brian Otradovec. Ben was raised in Carney. He resided there until the age of 15 when he moved to Green Bay, Wis., to reside with family and pursue his dream of playing hockey. While there he played for the Junior Green Bay Gamblers, after which he went on to play in Houghton for the Ojibwa Eagles and finally fulfilled one of his dreams and played for the Marquette Electricians for whom he was an assistant captain.
Ben returned home to Carney to graduate from Carney Nadeau High School in 2007. After graduation, Ben returned to Marquette to play again for the Electricians and was awarded The Hogan Award for "All Around Athlete". During this time he also attended Northern Michigan University and was accepted into the electrical line technician program and graduated in April 2009, from Northern Michigan University. Following graduation, Ben relocated to St. Louis and lived with his father and family until October 2010, when he was hired by Northern State Power Company of Minnesota, employed by Donovan and most recently Xcel Energy. Ben was currently residing in Bloomington, Minn.
As a child Ben discovered his love of hockey at age six and his love for the game continued throughout his life. Ben first played for the M&M Thunder of Marinette-Menominee, and then went on to play for the Escanaba Hawks. Ben was a born leader on the ice and off the ice, his heart warming smile and big heart gained him countless friends from each of the teams he played for. He remained close to these friends throughout his all too brief life. In addition to hockey, Ben was involved in 4-H, was a member of St Bruno Catholic Church in Nadeau, where he was an altar server, played both acoustic and electric guitar and had a passion for the outdoors. Ben loved to hunt and fish and frequently returned to the Upper Peninsula to pursue these passions. Beyond anything, Ben loved taking his look-a-like nephew Owen to camp and into the woods to share his love of the outdoors with him. Ben was as beautiful inside as he was on the outside and was known for his sense of humor and easygoing nature. He will be greatly missed by so many people, more than he could ever have known.
Benjamin Hunter Otradovec
Survivors include his mother, Donna Thiry of Gladstone; father, Brian Otradovec of Collinsville, Ill.; step-parents, Pam Otradovec and David Beaudo of Stephenson; sisters, Trisha (Jason) Veeser, Brook Beaudo and Courtney Otradovec; his beloved nephew, Owen James Veeser; and niece, Brynn Elizabeth Veeser; grandparents, Tony and Pinky Otradovec of Wilson and Gerald and Elaine Thiry of Carney; numerous aunts and uncles including, Jeff Otradovec, Barbie Otradovec, Linda and Jeff Triest, Peggy and Tom Folcik, Gerald Thiry, Jr., Wayne and Michelle Thiry, and Mary and Dave Ingell; in addition to numerous cousins and friends.
Family and friends may call at St. Bruno Catholic Church in Nadeau on Friday, Feb. 24, 2012, from noon (CST) until time of Eulogy at 4:45 p.m. (CST) followed by Mass of Christian Burial. Father Michael Vichich officiating.
Burial will be in Nadeau Township Cemetery.
Anderson Diehm Funeral Home of Stephenson (906) 753-2274 is assisting the family with arrangements.
In lieu of other forms of sympathy, a memorial fund has been established in Ben's name at the Menominee County Federal Credit Union: P.O. Box 604 Powers, MI 49874.