Benedict Francis Magsamen passed away peacefully in Ft.Collins on May 5, 2020 at home surrounded by family. He died of natural causes. Ben was born on a small farm outside Petersburg, NE on August 31, 1932. He was the oldest of 5 children and is survived by 4 siblings: Frank Magsamen, Cletus Magsamen, Mary Adams and Maurice Magsamen, 6 children: Jay Lapham, Greg Magsamen, Kurt Magsamen, Misty Eddy, Karl Magsamen and Mary Magsamen, 14 grandchildren and 1 great grandson. He was preceded in death by his son Russell Magsamen and his wife of 28 years, O’Linda.
He graduated from Creighton University and Creighton Medical School. He served in the Army Medical Corps and was honorably discharged with the rank of Captain after serving as a medical officer in Japan. He completed a residency in orthopedic surgery at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia and was an assistant professor of Orthopedics at Temple Hospital and Shiners Children Hospital until 1969.
In 1969, Ben moved his family to Ft. Collins, CO to practice Orthopedics at Poudre Valley Hospital. He and 3 other partners founded Orthopedic Center of the Rockies which is still in existence today and is one of the largest orthopedic practices in Colorado. He was the team doctor for multiple sports team and organizations including: the Philadelphia 76ers, the Denver Nuggets, the CSU football team, the US Olympic wrestling team, the Coors Classic bike race and the High School and Pro Rodeo associations in Colorado. He was passionate about medicine and taking care of patients young and old. He performed thousands of hip and knee replacements. Ben was an early advocate for women’s sports and TitleIX, because “we can’t ignore half the population”. He pushed for helmets and chest protection in rodeo events, which has now become standard protection. Ben loved to teach and worked internationally at medical schools with Orthopedics Overseas in Asia, Africa and the Caribbean. After retiring from OCR, he went back to school passing a new set of exams to become Board Certified in Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine and established The Longevity Institute of the Rockies to help patients live longer more active lives.
Ben loved sports and had a passion for running, mountain climbing, biking, and skiing. He completed multiple marathons and pack burro races in the 1970s before distance running and extreme events were popular. He climbed all 54 of Colorado’s 14ers as well as Orizaba and Kilimanjaro. Ben and O’Linda loved downhill and cross country skiing and Steamboat held a special place in their hearts. They rode on their tandem bike in tours across the US and around the world. As a farm boy from northern Nebraska, he never learned to swim, but O’Linda loved to scuba dive and so Ben learned to dive and they dove at sites throughout Mexico and Central America.
Ben loved to fly without the noise of engines. He flew sailplanes for many years and was part owner of the Glider port in Waverly, CO. He flew hot-air balloons and founded the Dragon’s Breath Balloon School; often in the morning skies you would see the balloon with fire breathing dragons floating above Ft. Collins.
Ben was often quiet and introspective, but he loved a good party and the parties at his home on Centennial drive were legendary. From a depression era farm kid born into poverty, he became an accomplished cook and had a vast wine collection and an encyclopedic knowledge of wine.He loved the Ft. Collins community and gave generously to multiple charities and organizations.
In 2008, Ben had a near fatal cycling accident that left him with permanent disabilities and he retired from medicine. He and O’Linda led quieter lives after that focusing on being with their large extended family and volunteering with charities in Ft. Collins.
In 2016, O’Linda was diagnosed with ALS and Ben never left her side until her passing at the end of 2019; he is reunited with her now.
A memorial service will be held at a later date when the quarantine is relaxed. Their ashes will be scattered together in a private ceremony.