Visitation at Funeral Home
Obituary of Benjamin Donald Halsted
Benjamin D. Halsted, USAF Major Retired
Benjamin D. Halsted, known as Ben professionally and Don by his U.S. family and “Tex” by his German in-laws, was born on January 7, 1931 in Guion, Taylor County, TX. He passed away at the age of 87 on Monday, November 5, 2018 in Abilene.
He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Albertine “Waggi” Halsted, Gisela Halsted Hughes and her husband Tim Thomas of Beaumont, TX, Deborah Halsted and her husband Robert Murray of Spring Branch, TX and Stephen Halsted and his partner, Sandy Goche of Springboro, OH. Ben has one grandson, Chad Rifle Hughes and wife Laura and their son, Jack Hughes of Battle Creek, MI. He also had another son Mago Reivdeneira, an exchange student from Quito, Ecuador who lived with the family from 1974 to 1975.
Ben was preceded in death by his parents Bennie Gray and Arvilla “Shorty” Ohlhausen Halsted; four brothers, Robert Henry, Billie M., Norman Dale, and Dorman Doyle; and one sister Helen Halsted Lanham.
Ben grew up during the depression years and as a child he worked numerous jobs including working as a ranch hand, farm hand, cutting fence posts, building fences, pulling cotton, maize and other agricultural jobs around Texas and as far north as North Dakota. He graduated from Claude High School in 1948, Armstrong County Texas in the Panhandle, where his father would later serve as the elected county sheriff.
After graduation, he briefly worked at the Bivins 7X Ranch in Channing, TX until he and his brother Bob joined the US Air Force in 1948. Although the Air Force (AF) promised they would remain together, they were separated soon after enlisting.
Ben went through Basic Training at Lackland Air Force Base (AFB) in San Antonio. He received training at Francis E. Warren AFB in Cheyenne, WY in finance which shaped the rest of his Air Force career. Soon thereafter, Ben was stationed in Munich, Germany where he met his soon to be bride and lifelong partner, Waggi in 1950, and where he learned to speak Bavarian German quite fluently. They were married in a civil ceremony on March 3, 1951.
Ben was selected for Officer Candidate School in 1957 and graduated in 1958 as a 2nd Lieutenant. Assignments included Travis AFB, CA, Eielson AFB, Alaska, Offutt AFB, NE, Thailand, Wiesbaden, Germany and finally Brooks AFB in San Antonio, where he retired as a Major from the Air Force in January 1971. During his 22-year career in the Air Force, he lived by the Code of Conduct which states Duty well performed, Honor in all things and Country before self.
Following his retirement from the Air Force, Ben went to work for Planning Research Corporation (PRC), where he worked installing computer systems for the military. When he retired from PRC in 1989, he was Division Vice President.
After his second retirement, Ben and Waggi moved from Vienna, VA to Abilene, TX where they became active in the Fairway Oaks Home Owners Association, the Abilene Chapter of the Retired Officer’s Association, and joined the Dyess AFB Officer’s Club. Ben also enjoyed playing golf almost every morning out at Dyess, AFB.
Always enjoying travel, Ben and Waggi traveled while with PRC and while retired in Abilene. They made numerous trips to Europe (Germany, France and Italy), Australia, and also toured the US and the great state of Texas.
While retired, Ben also did extensive research on both the Halsted and Ohlhausen families and published a book in 2002, which can be found at the Abilene Public Library.
Ben and Waggi moved into an Executive Home in Wesley Court in 2004 where they have enjoyed getting to know the residents.
Visitation will be 1:00pm to 2:00pm Saturday, November 10, at The Hamil Family Funeral Home, 6449 Buffalo Gap Road in Abilene. Funeral services will be held at 9:30am Monday, November 12, at The Hamil Family Funeral Home Chapel followed by burial with Military Honors in Texas State Veterans Cemetery at Abilene.
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The family first began in the funeral business in 1933. The Hamil's legacy, beginning with the Elliott's to John and Jo Ann Hamil and now continuing with Robert and Karla Hamil, is to serve families in their time of need.
Phone: (325) 692-2232
6449 Buffalo Gap Rd.
Abilene, Texas 79606