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/.