Ben Authier, age 23

Benjamin M. Authier

Ben Authier, age 23, died Aug. 7, 2017, as a result of a scuba diving accident at Hippie Hole near Rockerville in the Black Hills of South Dakota. 
Benjamin Michael Authier was born May 9, 1994, in Pierre to Michael and Katherine Authier. He was raised on the family farm east of Vivian and graduated from Lyman High School in 2013. Ben enrolled at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (SDSM&T) in Rapid City, pursuing a bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering. At the time of his death, he needed to complete only 18 credits to graduate. Spring semester 2017 he earned the dean’s list, achieving above the 3.5 GPA minimum required for that honor.
At SDSM&T, Ben was a proud member of the Delta Sigma Phi fraternity where he participated in many community service projects. Always eclectic in interest and passions, he played the bass clarinet in the Hardrocker band. As president of the Fermentation Club on the SDSM&T campus, he helped coordinate a seminar led by a brewmaster from Anheuser-Busch (Budweiser) for both AIChE and the Fermentation Club. Only one golf cart was allowed to operate on the SDSM&T campus, and Ben was the owner, operator and mechanic of that signature vehicle.
Ben was a rare combination of intelligence, athleticism and ambition. Inquisitive and inventive, his interests included hunting, fishing, scuba diving, welding, gardening, weightlifting, brewing beer and distilling moonshine.
He loved his family and worked many long hours on the family farm. Ben was an entrepreneur from an early age, initially selling special rocks to pheasant hunters who came to “his place.” Just a few of his later pursuits included a DJ business in the Vivian area while in high school and earning tuition money by baling hay during college.
Ben was an adventurous risk taker and problem solver who rarely took the easy path because he wanted to thoroughly understand the physical properties and chemical processes of the activities in which he engaged. He would often build his own version of many devices or systems rather than purchase an off-the-shelf product. Ben was fascinated by the world around him and was eager to explain how everything worked (in detail) – even if you didn’t always want to hear about it. Ben never let anything get him down and always looked for the best in everyone and every situation. Humorous and big-hearted, he was a dreamer and a doer who was loved and will be missed by many.
Heartbroken by Ben’s passing are his parents, Michael Authier, Vivian, and Katherine Mekolik Authier, Presho; his sisters, Alicia and Maria Authier, special friend Rachel Francis; and many uncles, aunts, cousins and friends. 
Ben was preceded in death by his paternal and maternal grandparents. 
Services were Monday, Aug. 14, at Christ the King Catholic Church in Presho with burial at the Vivian Cemetery.
Arrangements have been placed in the care of Isburg Funeral Chapel.  Online condolences may be made at 

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