Benjamin “Ben” Lee Croft, 54, well-known horseman, union painter and life-long resident of Evening Shade, Mo., passed away March 12, 2022, in Waynesville, Mo.

He was in his element; among good friends and horses.

Mr. Croft is survived by his wife, Amy Renee Jenkins; one son, Benjamin William Croft; two daughters, Monica Jo Brock  and Mickey Maria Croft; mother, Wanola Vearl Croft; sisters, Linda Jean Miller of Carbondale, Ill., Karen Sue Rasgaitis of Waynesville, Mo., Deloris Renee Minkus of Lebanon, Mo., and Ella Mayo Fix  of Dover, Wis.; and nine grandchildren.

He is preceded in death by his father, Henry Truman Croft; paternal grandparents, Ward and Alma Croft; maternal grandparents, John Taft and Iona Lavina Cornelius.

Mr. Croft was born in Houston, Mo., on Nov. 4, 1967. Growing up he learned alongside his dad, Henry, and many others in the horse industry, how to train, show, shoe and trail ride any horse or mule he put his saddle on. He was baptized on April 22, 1984.

After attending high school in Plato, Mo., he joined the Painters Local Union 1265, learning the trade as a painter and drywaller. In 1988 he married Amy Renee Jenkins. As a farrier and painter he practiced his trades in and around his hometown as well as many building projects on Fort Leonard Wood.

Family was his passion, especially being a Papa. Through the years he enjoyed hunting, especially for wild hogs. In addition, he spent time gigging on the river for a fish fry, trout fishing at Montauk, and he would always help others out when he could. He loved classic rock, country music and dancing (especially a jig.) He enjoyed social media because it provided him an outlet and a way to visit with family and friends. He loved TikTok and even made some of his own videos.  

A funeral service was 2 p.m. Thursday, March 17, 2022, at Roby Baptist Church. Burial followed in Long Hollow Cemetery. Memorial contributions to assist with funeral expenses may be made to Fox Funeral Home and dropped off there. Online condolences may be left at  Arrangements entrusted to Fox Funeral Home, 128 S. Main St., Licking, Mo.

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