Benjamin Edward Strass

Benjamin Edward Strass, 23, of Olathe, KS passed away unexpectedly, Friday, June 8, 2018 at Shawnee Mission Medical Center.

Everything Ben did was big in life.  He had a big temper, a big laugh, a big smile and a big heart.  If Ben did something he did it loudly.  When he closed a car door, the whole neighborhood knew that the Strass’ were home.  He left a big foot print.  Benjamin was born on June 29, 1994 to Edward and Arlene (Abramson) Strass in Overland Park, KS. Benjamin loved to draw and to sing and to vacuum and to ride roller coasters. Ben loved to draw pictures with sidewalk chalk. One day an Olathe Sanitation worker commented that Ben’s sidewalk art was something that they looked forward to seeing every week. Benjamin graduated from Olathe East High School, in 2012.  While at Olathe East he participated in Job Olympics and won a medal for his Vacuuming skills.  Benjamin learned to use the microwave and sort silverware and to fold laundry and other useful life skills at Olathe North Connect Program he attended after graduation, he then moved on to Options Services where he lived with a group of housemates and attended Options Day Services.  Ben attended both the Gardner Church of the Nazarene and Westside Gardner Church in Olathe.  He loved church and drew many amazing pictures and created interesting engineering projects out of his Legos, dominos and Jenga blocks during services.   As an adult he bowled with Special Pops at Olathe Lanes East every Thursday.    Throughout his life Ben has benefited from the love and devotion of teachers, paraprofessionals and other special needs support staff. Ben will live on as a organ donor.

He was preceded in death by Great Grandmother, Esther Harris, and Grandparents: Walter and Dorothy Strass, Henry Abramson and Daniel Harris (Grandpa Dan). Benjamin is survived by his parents Ed and Arlene Strass, Grandma Evie Harris and Grandmother Dorothy Abramson, Benjamin’s House mates at Options are: Jeremy, Richard, Nick, Roger, and David. Benjamin’s aunts and uncles include Becky and John Burcham, Barbara Baker, Susie and Tom Sweiton, Rita and Sterling Sheely, Barbara and Dean Sherwin, Arnold and Bernadette Strass, David Strass, and Elfie Abramson and Diana Abramson.



Memorial contributions may be made to Gardner Church of the Nazarene or any organization that supports special needs population.  




A memorial service will be held at Gardner Church of the Nazarene 16640 North Moonlight Road at 1 P.M. Saturday, June 16th.  After the funeral, we will be sitting Shiva at a close family friend’s home, dinner will be served. Please contact Arlene for more information.    


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Posted in Kansas City Obituaries, Obituaries | on Tuesday, Jun. 12th 2018 | 12 Comments »

12 Comments on “Benjamin Edward Strass”

  1. Angela Strass Says:

    Ben was one of my younger cousins that I looked forward to see even though it wasn’t very often. I was proud of him for all his accomplishments in spite of his autism. He inspired me. I am sorry to hear that he is gone but never forgotten

  2. Mary Mullenax Says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. I know you will miss Ben a lot. You were a great mother, Arlene, to Ben. I admired how well you took care of him and were always doing special things with him. May God give you and Ed peace in this sad time in your lives.

  3. Jennifer Lytle Says:

    Eddie & Arlene: Words may not comfort you but memories will. Keep Ben alive with all of the wonderful memories that he was able to give you while here on the Earth and know that he is vacuuming up all of the angel’s dust in heaven! We love you and are here to support you whatever way we can!

  4. barbara baker Says:

    He was a blessing to all of us. And I was proud to be his aunt. Prayers are going out to you sis. Love you very much. He will be forever in my heart and prayers.

  5. Brooke Markey Says:

    Ben brought so much joy to me and I learned so much from him. He kept me on my toes and made me smile daily. I had the pleasure of working with Ben from his fifth grade year through his freshman year of school. He will be greatly missed and always remembered. I loved watching him draw his pictures of “QT”, I loved hearing him sing “3 blind mice” pitch perfectly, and I loved warching him so independently make his fettuccine Alfredo meals in the microwave. Love you big guy!
    Love, Ms. “Broke”

  6. Perry Diehm Says:


    I have so many good memories of Ben in Wednesday night Bible Study, Sunday School, and Church. I remember wondering when you guys first started attending Gardner Nazarene how much Ben was absorbing from the discussion. But then, something would happen and he would start signing a song or commenting on something that had to do with the lesson and I know there was stuff getting through. I hope the memories of Ben help you work through the grief you must be feeling. I Am a better man for having known Ben.

  7. Barbara Penn Says:

    Ben was a blessing! He changed my life and had a great impact on me. Thank you for sharing Ben with everyone. You are in my prayers.

  8. April Garland Says:

    I loved Ben’s enthusiasm for coloring, legos, and sermon additions. Prayers to you and your family!

  9. Karen Bannister Says:

    Ben was such s joy. A young man who accomplished so many things. I will always remember and appreciate how great his school team including his parents worked together for Ben and how they celebrated together his many successes. What a guy!

  10. Susan Collins Says:

    To know Ben was to love him!! I had the pleasure of being Ben’s teacher in the first Middle School autism classroom in Olathe. I got to see him make remarkable progress across all settings. I too remember so many special moments with Ben that have served him well as he got older. Being able to live in a supportive environment was a goal in his early middle school years that his parents and team hoped he would achieve after high school. Indeed he met this goal without reservation. There are so many moments and events with Ben that we’re memorable and can’t be limited to just a few. He difinitely touched the hearts of all who worked with him and he never forgot your name.
    I was blessed beyond all expectation to know Ben and to work as partners in his education with his parents Arlene and Ed !! There will always be a most special place in my heart for Ben!!

  11. Susan Collins Says:

    To know Ben was to love him!! I had the pleasure of being Ben’s teacher in Middle School in Olathe. Early on at this time in school, a long term goal that Ben ‘s parents and team hoped he could achieve was that he would be able to live in a supportive setting after high school. GOAl MET!! There are so many events and situations that I remember with Ben that have served him well as he got older. Ben touched everyone that worked with and knew him in a very special way and he never forgot your name!! I was most fortunate to work as partners in Ben’s education with Arlene and Ed. He accomplished so much!!! There will always be a most special place in my heart for Ben!! He taught me many things that have left me with many smiling memories!!-

  12. Mary Bedford Says:

    I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I know you have lived every moment doing all the best for him. Like you with Nicole and her autism you spend so many years getting them to be the best they can be. I know you were fabulous parents and my heart is so broken for you. I pray the Lord will strengthen you in this time of need and bless you. We are so blessed for the tome we are given with our angels. Now he is truly with the angels. No more struggles!!! God love you!!!

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