Benjamin “Ben” Carr, 69, of Staten Island, N.Y., was born in Rocky Point, N.C. Oct. 10, 1949 to the late Hazel and James Carr. He was the eighth of 10 children and was preceded in death by five of his siblings, Hazel Banks, Roy Carr, Andrew Carr, James Carr and Vernetta Murphy. He graduated from New Hanover High School before moving to New York City to work for many years as a construction worker and street paver.
Ben was working in the Gowanus houses in Brooklyn where he met Gwen. In 1978 the two had a brief relationship and reunited in 1997. The pair’s union would later take place July 4, 1997. Ben was always protective over his wife Gwen. He was seen regularly supporting her in their fight for justice for his stepson, the late Eric Garner. He fought so very hard for Eric’s justice, always spoke so highly of Rev. Al Sharpton and Elder Kirsten John-Foy for continuing to fight and support the family on and off the cameras.
Ben joined the neighborhood Charity Baptist Church in Brooklyn under Bishop Kareem Evans in 2010 and later became a member of the Christian Love Baptist Church in Irvington, N.J., where he joined under Rev. Ronald Christian. Other churches Ben attended included: Mt. Sinai with Bishop Victor Brown and New Hope Memorial Church with Pastor Steffie Bartley. Ben was very close to them all. Ben was an active member in his community. He enjoyed spending his free time at local churches joining Rev. Maggie Howard and Cynthia Davis in efforts to distribute food to the less fortunate. He was always willing to donate his time toward aiding others. Ben also loved to cook, frying fish and turkeys was his specialty, and friends and family would come from everywhere to enjoy his food.
Ben will be remembered for his boldness in letting people know unapologetically whatever was on his mind. Ben was a friend to all. People loved him and if you didn’t, he’d say “It don’t bother me.”
Ben passed away July 26, 2019, in Negril, Jamaica where he intended on walking his stepdaughter, Ellisha, down the aisle the following day. His unanticipated departure weighed heavy on the hearts of family and friends. Ben leaves to mourn his lovely wife of 22 years, Gwen Carr, brother Earnest Carr; sisters Dora Lacewell, Joyce Johnson, Mae Cooper and Martha Smith, who was like a sister to him; children Avis Gilford, Angel Minor; stepdaughters, Ellisha Garner-Samuels and Kenya Thompson, stepson Elliott Gamer, late Eric Garner and Emery Gamer grands Michael, Virgil, Monique, Ebony, Chayla, Nekiesha, Brandon, Bernard, Marcus and Legacy; brothers-in-law, Clarence Lacewell, Tom Johnson, Marion Murphy, Lawrence Adams, James Flagg, Marvin Flagg, Earnest Bruce; sisters-in-law Marilyn Bruce, Vernice McCoy, Herbertine Skinner, Gwen Westley, Toiya Adams; and Aunt Catherine 94 years old who held a special place in his heart; special nephews Levem Carr and Sammie Carr; special nieces Lil Ma and Angie and a host of other nieces, nephews, great grandchildren, cousins and friends.
A. R. Bernard officiated the funeral at Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn.