Benjamin Leon Charvet, 80, of Sunnyside passed away Thursday, March 15, 2007, after a two-year battle with lung cancer, at his home surrounded by his loving family.

He was born April 18, 1926 in Mabton, to Benjamin Joseph and Marguerite Pauline (Baudier) Charvet. Ben attended primary school in Kent, and graduated from Mt. Angel Seminary in Mt. Angel, Ore., as the class valedictorian.

On June 16, 1948 he married his childhood sweetheart, Mary Alice Garrison, at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Sunnyside.

Ben was past president of the U.S. Hop Growers of America, past president of the Washington State Hop Growers Association, awarded Farmer of the Year in 1960, awarded the International Order of the Hop in Brussels, Belgium in 1979, advisor to Washington State Asparagus Association, and past president of the Yakima Valley Jr. Fair.

From 1959 until 1993, Ben served as Yakima County Fire Commissioner for District 5 and chairman for 20 years. He was a very dedicated lifetime member of Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church. He was building chairman of the present Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church and Hall and was a fourth degree member of the Knights of Columbus. He was active in the Andy Creek Water Association, coaching Pee-Wee baseball and being a Scout Master.

Ben enjoyed golfing, fishing, hunting, spending time at his cabin at Rimrock Lake and traveling to Arizona as snowbirds for 15 years.

He is survived by his loving wife of 58 years, Mary Alice Charvet of Sunnyside; three sons, Martin Charvet and wife, Kathy, of Mattawa, David Charvet and wife, Kelley, and Robert Charvet and wife, Lori, all of Grandview; 10 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his brother, Maurice Charvet; and two sisters, Madeline Smith and Mary Theresa Garrison.

Ben was preceded in death by his parents; one son, Benjie Charvet; and one sister, Lucille Smith.

Viewing and visitation will be held Monday, March 19, 2007, from 3 to 8 p.m. with a Rosary to be recited at 6 p.m. at Smith Funeral Home in Grandview. Mass of Christian Burial will be held Tuesday, March 20, 2007, at 10 a.m. at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Grandview, with burial to follow at the Mabton Cemetery.

The Charvet family would like to especially thank Dr. Von Stubbe, the nurses at the Northstar Lodge and Lower Valley Hospice for their excellent care. Those wishing to honor his memory may contribute to Lower Valley Hospice or American Cancer Society. Smith Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.


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