Last week the second annual Remembrin’ Benjamin Golf Tournament was held in Katy to raise funds and awareness for aortic health. You can read all about that on our Sports page.
But I’m here to tell you about the Quinns. And I realize this is hard to follow, so I’m gonna skip to the good part.
The matriarch of the family is Cathy Sellers Quinn, who I know as “Aunt Honey,” my grandmother’s sister. She married Mike Quinn, who wrote for The Dallas Morning News and was, like, no joke, the coolest person ever.
Mike and Cathy had three kids, each of whom had some kids of their own. One of those kids, the firstborn of Carol Quinn Bradford, was Ben. On July 20, 2012, Ben died suddenly. He died from an aortic dissection, which is best described as “what John Ritter had.” It can be treated, but you gotta know what it is. My cousin was misdiagnosed.
Ben was really close to his brothers Austin and Robby and his cousins Chanel, Cameron, Heather and Jacob. I remember on the way to Ben’s funeral I kept listening to that song by the band Fun called “We Are Young.” The lyrics say, “So let’s set the world on fire, we can burn brighter than the sun.” It made me think not just of Ben but of his little brothers and those four remaining cousins.
Almost all of those cousins were at the golf tournament in Katy on Thursday hoping to raise money and awareness. They loved him so much they had difficulty talking about him. They didn’t want to take the spotlight away from the importance of identifying aortic health. They don’t care about having their picture in the paper; well, Aunt Honey did. She coordinated an outfit for the occasion and wanted to make sure I know she is “84 and a half” years old.
I love, love, love these people. The Quinns are the fun ones. Like, when you go to the family Fourth of July barbecue, it doesn’t really matter who is there, but you always kind of sneak in a … “Will the Quinns be there?” before you make your decision of whether to go. They’re just good, kind people. They make me laugh and they support me. Robby, Ben’s little brother, came up and hugged me at the golf tournament and teased me about signing up for all the J.J. Watt paraphernalia in the silent auction. He’s probably a good 15 years younger than me, but we’re blood. We’re family, and that means something.
It just sucks and it’s crazy that young people die. It sucks that these people have to go through life every day without their friend and brother and cousin and son.
Today, in this space, I just want to remember Ben. He was friendly, like his dad. He had a sweet heart, like his mom. I always thought of him as kind of a quiet kid but I’ve heard from others that he was actually one of those “never met a stranger” types. He was a good kid who loved people and playing golf. His close friends were at his home immediately when he went to the hospital that day back in 2012. They were at the house the next day and the next. They played golf in his honor last week. We will always remember Benjamin.
And if I happen to win the autographed J.J. Watt jersey from the silent auction, the check’s in the mail.
April Towery is the managing editor of The Sealy News. She can be reached at 979-885-3562 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.