Sharon Wiener and Ben Manea, owners of Walla Artisan Bakery Cafe. Manea died in June due to complications with his diagnosis of ALS. (Western News file photo)

Widow shares final words of wisdom from beloved Penticton baker

Ben Manea, owner of Walla Artisan Bakery and Café, died on June 15 due to complications from his ALS

It is just a simple-looking, solid-grey industrial shelving unit pushed up against a wall in the Cannery Trade Centre, but for many it is so much more than that.

The shelving unit once used by well-known Penticton baker Ben Manea, that has become a memorial piece at the Cannery Trade Centre. (Submitted photo)

The shelving unit, now decorated with plants and photos, has become a memorial for the well-known baker Ben Manea who used it every day as he created his goods at Walla Artisan Bakery and Café. Manea, who died on June 15, due to complications from his ALS, worked in the bakery right up until his passing.

His wife, Sharon Weiner, shared his final blog post to their website on Friday — something he had been working on before he died.

READ MORE: Baking bread for the final time at Penticton’s Walla Bakery

“I embraced every obstacle and mountain as a challenge to overcome, and every failure as a lesson to be learned. This was one of the few times in my life when rogue and unchecked instincts directed me towards something that defied logic (baking bread) and seemed like sheer madness to others. I ignored everything, every voice of reason, and just went for it,” Manea wrote.

And in doing so, Manea built a successful business over the past 12 years — “bread that improved people’s lives one bite at a time.”

Weiner sold many of the items that were used to create all the bread and goods for Walla, except for the larger bakery equipment. In a strange twist she said that eventually went to Green Bay Bible Camp in West Kelowna.

Baker Ben Manea (right) with his wife Sharon Weiner (left) before his death from complications from his ALS. (Submitted photo)

“They wanted all the large equipment that it seemed no one had room for. Within a couple of days the deal was done. The best part of the miracle is that Ben had bought his minivan from the Green Bay Bible Camp many years ago, and had been driving around all these years with their logo on his hood. It gave me goosebumps. I guess he’s been helping all along,” said Weiner.

READ MORE: Life takes an unpredictable turn for well-known South Okanagan baker

In his final musings, as he reminisced about the “Walls Circus and Carnival,” Manea offers some words of wisdom.

“Yet we should not be afraid of death, just of a life unlived and dreams unfulfilled. When life gives you a challenge, go ahead: dare to charge with gusto and abandon, and harness the courage to follow your instincts. Otherwise, forever you will be doomed to shed tears for lost opportunities and possibilities while longing for something that is no longer there except for vestiges of the past,” he wrote. “It is not about the length of life, but the depth of it you are willing to explore while challenging your ‘safety and comfort zone,’ and remember that only those who live deeply do not fear death! But, hey what do I know; after all, I’m just a baker!”

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.


@PentictonNews
editor@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Man sentenced for stealing pricey ring from Salmon Arm pawn shop

Accused vows to change criminal history through beating addictions

Anxiety, depression among student priorities for Sicamous school wellness centre

Initiative provides comfortable space to care for students at Eagle River Secondary

Shuswap woman creates stress-reducing cuffs for Alzheimer’s patients

Personal connection to disease adds meaning to endeavour

WEB POLL: Would you like to see a new highway built between B.C. and Central Alberta?

Building another highway through the mountains would shave 95 km from Kamloops to Red Deer

Okanagan divers ready to take on 2020 B.C. Winter Games

The athletes have been training four days a week

Galchenyuk nets shootout winner as Wild edge Canucks 4-3

Vancouver tied with Calgary for second spot in NHL’s Pacific Division

B.C.’s soda drink tax will help kids lose weight, improve health, says doctor

Dr. Tom Warshawski says studies show sugary drinks contribute to obesity

A&W employees in Ladysmith get all-inclusive vacation for 10 years of service

Kelly Frenchy, Katherine Aleck, and Muriel Jack are headed on all-expenses-paid vacations

B.C. mom’s complaint about ‘R word’ in children’s ministry email sparks review

In 2020, the ‘R’ word shouldn’t be used, Sue Robins says

Askew Tennis Centre draws 14 teams for mixed doubles tourney

Event at new facility hosted competitors from throughout Okanagan

B.C., federal ministers plead for meeting Wet’suwet’en dissidents

Scott Fraser, Carolyn Bennett says they can be in Smithers Thursday

EDITORIAL: Revisiting cannabis regulations

Recent retail license application has brought up concerns about present policy in Summerland

Guidelines regulate Summerland cannabis stores

The municipality’s policy, 300.6 establishes the 50-metre buffer zone around schools and parks

Most Read