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Benjamin Dean Lorenz

Benjamin Dean Lorenz, 79, husband of Karen Moore Lorenz, died Aug. 4 at his home in Reidsville, N.C. A celebration to honor his life is planned for Spring 2021. Dean was born June 29, 1941, in North Adams, Mass., to Ben and Muriel Lorenz. Although he spent most of his life in the South, he never lost his penchant for Yankee thriftiness and self reliance. When he was 4, his family moved to The Bronx, New York. Ever curious and adventurous, he would sail paper airplanes out the open window of his father’s office in the Empire State Building and developed a lifelong passion for fishing and camping during summers spent in the Berkshires. He spent many hours fishing in the stream at his grandmother’s house and in the ponds at the Bronx Zoo. It was the promise of great fishing that lured him, at age 16, to the University of Colorado at Boulder. He didn’t catch “The Big One,” but he did earn a degree in business administration. Having spent many summers with family in Williamsburg, Va., he entered The College of William and Mary to pursue a master’s in business. After one year and a heart-to-heart conversation with the law school dean who recognized a sharp legal mind he switched to law and earned a J.D. in 1966. The move was a good one. He also met Karen, a summer school student, and fell in love with her. Ever patient, he had to wait in the wings 10 years after she married his former roommate. In the meantime, he was admitted to the D.C. and Virginia bars and worked for the federal government in Washington, D.C., and Richmond, Va. When he finally got his chance he proposed to Karen, and they married on April 22, 1977, in Columbia, where they lived until 2019. He’d finally landed the catch of a lifetime, a travel companion, fellow antique-lover and woman who’d even help with painting projects. Dean worked for the U.S. Small Business Administration and later was a vice president at SouthTrust Bank. After retirement, he and Karen traveled frequently, spending weeks in Europe, the Caribbean, Canada, and states far and near, from the New England shoreline to the Pacific Northwest and the Rockies in between. Ultimately, his favorite destinations were Blacksburg, Va., and Reidsville, where he could indulge their grandchildren. Dean was open-hearted and open-minded, non-judgmental and rational. He was generous with his time, talents and resources. He was devoted to family, and in recent years spent most of his time caring for Karen. He never missed a family birthday, graduation or wedding celebration, and he was always available to lend a hand to someone in need. A talented woodworker, he delighted in making tables, stools and other decorative pieces for family and friends. To the amazement and occasional dismay of family, no home project was too big for him to manage, from painting the exterior of his house, laying hardwood flooring or building a deck. He loved a drink of single malt scotch, a good red wine, especially if it was a bargain, vegetables from his garden, a steak from the grill and chocolate in any form. He also loved college sports and was a disciple of Colorado, Clemson and Virginia Tech football. In addition to Karen he is survived by daughters Elizabeth Pandolfo Briggs of Blacksburg Va. and Katherine Lorenz Luvaga (Robert) of Reidsville, grandsons Allen and Grayson Briggs, granddaughter Danielle Makungu Luvaga, sister Elaine Lorenz (Howard Nathenson) of Hawthorne, N.J., and brother Bruce Lorenz of Pound Ridge, NY; sister-in-law and brother-inlaw Margaret and Robert Lamb of Pawleys Island, niece Jasmin Lorenz, and nephews Dylan Lorenz and Tyler (Lauren) and Carson (Claire) Lamb. In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by son-in-law Allen Briggs. Memorials can be made to William and Mary Law School, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation or the National Park Foundation. In lieu of an immediate service, friends and loved ones are encouraged to raise a glass or cast a line, smile, and salute a life well-lived. The family has an announcement at www.wilkersonfuneral.com/obituaries/Benjamin-Dean-Lorenz/.

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Guestbook

To Karen and family, my condolences to you. Dean was a wonderful husband to Karen. Pam Braswell, Joseph Keels coworker

Pam Braswell Aug 17 2020 12:31 PM

Sending hugs to Karen and her family. I just finished reading the wonderful tribute to Dean in The State paper. I have happy memories of teaching with Karen at Keels and remember when she married Dean. Even though we have not kept in touch, I think of Karen often, especially when I use her fabulous quiche recipe, which is about once per week lately. In fact, I am eating a slice as I write this message! I hope your memories of a fantastic life together will bring you peace. Kathy Hawkins Weeks

Kathy Hawkins Weeks Aug 16 2020 3:27 PM

So sorry to hear of the loss of Dean. He was a fine gentleman and great mentor to me at SBA. My condolences to the entire family. Jim Page Duncan, SC

jim Page Aug 8 2020 2:27 PM

I am so sorry to hear this and deepest condolences to Karen, Kate, Elizabeth, and family. I worked with Dean for many years at SBA and always enjoyed his professionalism, intelligence, and wit. He was a wonderful, caring guy and someone I, and the whole office, could always depend on for help and advice. He was kind of the dean of the SBA office and we were sorry when he retired, but happy he was able to have more time to be with and enjoy his family. May Dean rest in peace.

Dale Lowder Aug 8 2020 11:40 AM

Sending love to Kate and Elizabeth, Bruce and Elaine, and all the family. Mary Jane Eaton Sobel

Mary Jane Eaton Sobel Aug 7 2020 6:16 PM

Sending love to all Lorenz and the extended families. Elizabeth Eaton eeaton999@gmail.com

Elizabeth Eaton Aug 7 2020 5:11 PM

Im so sorry to hear this news! Karen, you are so missed! I hope you are well and that you know how much Dean loves you. Folks always said he worshipped you and treated you like a queen! Still remember the house fire and visits to your apartment and our trip to Burnsville and of course at the beach at the Dead Dog Saloon! You are loved! Pat Brandon

patricia brandon Aug 6 2020 7:16 PM