Benjamin Lucas Paley, 26, died on July 30 at home in Allston, Mass. He was born on Nov. 23, 1992, the son of Charles Paley of Sharon, CT and Crispina ffrench of Becket, MA, and the grandson of Emma and the late Morris Paley of Sharon, Ct. and the late John and Primm ffrench of Stockbridge MA.
He was a graduate of Berkshire Country Day and Housatonic Valley Regional High School, and Berkeley College of Music in Boston.
He had lived in the Boston area for the last nine years and was a musician and a music teacher. He played guitar and was a member of The Lost Collective a 12-piece hip-hop band, as well as several bands that performed at weddings, beach parties, private events, and more.
He was a great listener, unusually sensitive and aware of other people’s feelings and perspectives. He lived with life-long physical challenges yet never felt sorry for himself, or like he couldn’t succeed. He started playing guitar when he was 11 or 12, and studied with Rob Sanzone and Ram Miles; Beginning at 13 he apprenticed at the old Club Helsinki in Great Barrington where he took part in their weekly open mic and helped make it happen. Music was his lifelong passion. He enjoyed playing and performing, as well as listening to and seeing live music of most any genre.
Ben was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy at 2, when his life expectancy was just 4. He beat the odds by far outliving the expectations of every doctor who saw him. Every day with Ben was a true blessing. He enjoyed life and made the most of opportunities as they arose. Ben made plans and worked hard to see his dreams come true.
Ben loved to travel and spent time in Europe, Cuba and around the US. He found great joy in healthy eating and cooking; the messier the recipe, the more he liked it – he was an accomplished home chef and loved to share recipes.
Ben was deeply loved by many. He was a cherished son, grandson, nephew, friend, mentor, teacher, student, band member and big brother.
In addition to his mother and his father and grandmother, he is survived by his stepfather, Chris Swindlehurst of Becket; his sisters, Lucy and Violet, who adore him; Charlie’s partner, Marge deMarrais, of Sharon, CT; his aunts and uncles, Sofia and Pat Hughes of Stockbridge, Felicitas ffrench of Great Barrington, Sarah and Chris Coon of Sharon, CT, David and Susan Kent of Keene, NH, Elizabeth and David Tong of Durham, NH, Will and Elaine Paley of Weaverville, NC, Roberta Paley of Englewood, FL, Judy Paley of Lawrence, KS, and his aunt; Anne Williams of Sharon, CT, as well as Mary Wilbur of Lakeville, and her daughter, Ella; many cousins; and countless devoted friends.
He was predeceased by his uncle, George Paley.
A celebration of Ben’s life will be held at Racebrook Lodge on August 13 at 4pm. If you are a musician please share your music at the event. If you would like to help with food please call 413-854-8554
Memorial donations may be made to a music scholarship fund in Ben’s name through Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation.
To send flowers to Benjamin's family, please visit our floral section.