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Benjamin Clarke "Benny" Sheardown (1944-1999)

Highlights of History from The Whitehorse Star

The Whitehorse Pioneer Cemetery

The Whitehorse Star - Tuesday, June 22, 1999

Headline: Yukon Sports Hall of Famer Dies of Cancer

    As an athlete and coach, there were few opponents Ben Sheardown couldn't beat.

    Unfortunately, the talented Yukoner couldn' t beat cancer. The 55-year-old had spent the last three months in Calgary, but died Friday due to complications from treatment.

    The member of the Yukon Sports Hall of Fame won numerous ulus at the Arctic Winter Games, including two silvers in 1980 - playing hockey while simultaneously coaching the junior bas- ketball team. He represented the Yukon at the very first Canada Winter Games in Quebec City. While playing with the University of Alaska hockey team, he was named MVP twice.

    Sheardown, who was born and raised in Whitehorse, passed away with his wife Cathy and daughter Penny-Lou by his side.

    "They said it was a pretty peaceful death. I think they were both pretty happy to be there with him and see it happen so nicely. Apparently he looked quite relaxed and comfortable with it all," Sean Sheardown said.

    Friend Gerry Thick remembers Sheardown's athletic talents were matched by his kindness.

    "He was just a genuine great guy," said Thick, who knew Sheardown for 25 years. "He was probably the most understanding person I've know in my whole life. He was truly a nice guy to everybody. I don't think there's a person who could even attempt to say a bad thing about him."

    Sheardown's hockey accomplishments are numerous, but it was the time spent behind the bench coaching basketball he cherished the most.

    "T think I' ve won a lot of championships and I've been on more winners than losers. But I'm most proud of the coaching," he told the Star last year.

    Sheardown touched the lives of many of students, athletes and fans throughout his life. During his Hall of Fame induction speech last year, Sheardown thanked them.

    "From the bottom of my heart, I have to thank every player I played with and against, every coach that I've ever been associated with, any referee that had to put up with me and the hundreds and hundreds of students that I had the privilege of coaching."