Benjamin Landey, a beloved “one of a kind,” and larger-than-life character, passed away April 7, 2020, at age 79 after battling pancreatic cancer. Benjie, as known by family and close friends, entered the world May 12, 1940 in Valdosta, Ga. Ben lived his life “all in!” His dedication to family, enthusiasm for learning, and deep passion for music will always be admired. If you heard a guitar strumming or piano playing with Israeli and American folk songs led and taught by Ben, you knew he was in his element. If you wanted a humorous study partner or a gregarious conversationalist, you could count on Ben. His soul was nourished by his connection to the Jewish people and to the land of Israel.
As a brilliant immigration attorney, Ben achieved unheard of results dedicated to defending the rights of illegal immigrants – often pro-bono – hoping to escape persecution or seeking a better life in the United States. If the law didn’t appear on his client’s side, he fashioned new legal theories. If the facts didn’t support his client’s case, he dug deeper until he found the solution. Ben made friends and schmoozed with judges and prosecutors who greatly admired his honesty and integrity for the law. Spending his life contributing actively to others, he felt he never did enough for the world. He was a true idealist in every sense.
Ben is survived by his wife of 55 years, Faye Hite Landey; daughters Leah (Ted) Blum and Sharon (Adam) Clark; grandchildren Josh, Abby and Evan Blum and Skyler Clark; sister Judy Landey (Marty Kleinman); aunts Shirley (Donald) Reisman and Esther Margol; and many cousins, nieces and nephews.
We deeply miss the laughter of our Dad/husband/uncle/grandfather/brother, his larger-than-life presence, his humor, his love of family, and how supportive and proud he was of all of his family. We hope to follow in his footsteps, how genuinely positive he lived his life. We will forever smile when we remember his favorite meal: A hot bowl of chili, chicken pot pie, chocolate chip cookies, and hot chocolate pudding.
In Ben’s memory, donations may be made to the scholarship fund of his cherished Camp Judaea in Hendersonville, N.C., where he served as its first song leader in 1961. Please call CJ’s development director Alyson Lev, 954-937-3993 or log on to Campjudaea.org . Arrangements by Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care, 770-451-4999.