Benjamin Spragg Cushing (“Big Cat”), 19, of Sammamish, WA, Eastlake High School (Class of 2016), student at Washington State University and member of Tau Kappa Epsilon, passed peacefully on October 2, 2017 surrounded by his family and friends.

From a very young age, people would comment on Ben’s “old soul.” Ben was very intuitive and compassionate, and he made people feel special when they were with him. He was uninhibited with his emotions and he whole-heartedly loved, and was loved by, his family and friends.

Ben had an adventurous, often mischievous, zest for life and he packed a lot of living into his short time on earth. His favorite activities included snowboarding, soccer, poker, boating, hanging out at the river with friends, cliff jumping at Lake Chelan, beach vacations, and being a Coug. Above all, he loved spending time with his friends, including “sis” and her friends. And there was never a shortage of friends around Ben.

In January, Ben was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive cancer called Hepatosplenic T-cell Lymphoma. It was a devastating diagnosis, but in the darkest of times, Ben’s true character shined. Empowered by his posse at his side, he courageously battled the cancer with unwavering determination, faith and humor.

Ben’s motto was “For a Reason,” and he lived this with conviction. While many of us struggle to find a reason for him leaving us so soon, one thing is clear, those fortunate enough to know Ben are better people for it. He was an inspiration to all.

Ben is survived by his parents, Scott and Alison, his sister Emily, and their dog, Penny. He leaves his maternal grandparents, Harry Cooker and Eriann Pearson, and Dave and Nancy Taylor; and his paternal grandparents, Frank and Nancy Cushing. He also leaves his Aunts Kara Cushing Haugen (Steve) and Denise Cushing Purrington (Dean), Uncle Jason Cooker (Tanya), cousins Neva, Turner, Russell, Jeremy and Aiden. The Cushing family extends their heartfelt gratitude to Ben’s good friends from High School, WSU, TKEs and countless others who kept Ben company with stories, laughs, food, song, and love these past nine months.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider donations to “Cush it to the Limit,” a fund Ben set up to raise money for his doctor’s research into a cure for Hepatosplenic T-cell Lymphoma. Please visit for information on the fund, as well as details on Ben’s Celebration of Life.