Benjamin Paul Hirjak, 71, of Sarasota, FL, formerly of Toronto, OH, passed away Saturday, April 3, 2021.
Beni was born in Hummene, Slovakia, January 4, 1950, to the late Joseph and Mary (Rujak) Herrick.
Beni moved to the USA with his family in 1968. He worked at the Weirton Steel Mill and had a body shop in Toronto. He later moved his wife and two children to Florida to start a business. Beni built a new home and his body and mechanic shop, Clark Import Autohaus, Inc.
He loved winter sports and taught his family to ski, snowmobile and ice skate. Beni went to Lake Placid, NY in 1980 to watch the Winter Olympics. He was an avid fan of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Pittsburgh Steelers. When the Penguins won the Stanley Cup and John Welday brought it to Toronto, Beni made the trip back to Ohio just to touch it. Beni started his own Slovak soccer team in Florida and he played with Beasley who made it to the Olympics with the USA Soccer Team.
Beni loved to travel. He bought a wrecked RV and fixed it up to take his family across the country from Florida to California, Mexico and even Canada. When others came from Slovakia to the United States he was very generous in helping them with good car deals.
Beni was a member of St. Patrick Catholic Church in Sarasota and St. Joseph Catholic Church in Toronto.
Beni leaves behind his wife, Ludmila (Brindzova) Hirjak; his children, Benjamin P. Hirjak, II of Venice, FL and Heidi A. (Patrick) Wallace of Media, PA; sister, Greta (Mark) Casto of Youngstown, OH; brother, Stephen (Jennie) Herrick of Hammondsville, OH; grandchildren, Sylvia J., Cormac S. and Paloma N. Wallace and Josslyn H. Woodmaster; previous wife and mother of his children, Marianne Volsky of Toronto.
Funeral Liturgy with Mass will be held Saturday, April 17, 2021 at 11 AM at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Toronto, OH. There will be visitation in the rear of the church from 10 AM to 11 AM. Fr. Thomas Vennitti will celebrate and burial will follow in Toronto Union Cemetery.
Arrangements for Beni are in the care of the J.E. Foster Funeral Home in Toronto. In lieu of flowers, please send memorial donations to Tampa General Hospital Pediatric Burn Unit www.tgh.org.
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