Ben was preceded in death by his parents, Holland and Elsie Lents, and his brother, Jerry.
Ben is survived by his nieces Janis Stewart and Audrey Andress, his nephew Michael Lents, and his sister-in-law Patricia Lents. He also leaves behind his close lifelong companion Joyce Cole whom he had known since they were students at Lincoln High School. Friends that Ben has had since their days together at Lincoln Junior High include Eric Follo, John Richert, and Don Harbourne. Through the years they maintained close friendships.
Ben volunteered for the draft during the Vietnam War. He served at the pentagon with a mission that maintained the location of missiles in Europe. Upon fulfilling his tour of duty with the U.S. Army he worked at various manufacturing jobs in the auto parts supply industry and kitchen wares industry. He then utilized the G.I. Bill to complete a B.S. degree from Murray State University. He then went on to teach English and coach high school basketball in Georgia. In order to satisfy his love of learning and teaching he received a Masters of Library Science from Vanderbilt University. In 1984 he began his career with Southeast Missouri State University. There he worked as an Assistant Professor in the Kent Library from 1984 to 2011. During this time he received a second Masters of Science degree from the University of Kansas. The Faculty Senate of Southeast Missouri State University conferred upon Ben Emeritus Status upon his retirement.
Ben was devoted to caring for Holland and Elsie his entire life, and was beloved by several dogs including Coco his Boston Terrier. He loved music and was a great dancer.