Benjamin Phillip Dreith passed away peacefully on April 25, 2021 at his home in Centennial, CO at the age of 96. Dreith was born on February 1, 1925 in Denver Colorado, a first generation American, to Anna Marie Roth Dreith and Johannes Dreith. He grew up in Globeville, CO with his three brothers and three sisters. He served in the United States Navy during World War II from June 1943 to March 1946 on the USS Teak as a diver in the Philippines. After the war he graduated from the University of Northern Colorado with a BA in Education, where he was a three-sport letterman in football, basketball and baseball. He played minor league professional baseball for the farm team for the New York Yankees. He also earned a Master’s degree from Denver University.
He married Betty Jean Dolsby in 1950. They had three girls, Laura Jean, Donna Marie and Sandra Kay Dreith. Dreith remarried Rae Larsen in 1961 and they had one daughter, Lisa Diann.
Dreith taught physical education for the Denver Public School District for over 30 years, most of those years at Lincoln High School. He refereed high school and NCAA basketball from 1965 to 1989, including heading up several international officiating crews preparing for the Olympics.
Dreith served as a field judge and referee for the American Football League from 1960-1963. When the AFL merged with the National Football League, he worked as an NFL Head Referee from 1964-1990. He was awarded 27 post season games in his 27 years with the NFL including 4 Super Bowls, 8 Conference Championships, 13 Divisional Playoffs and 2 Pro Bowl games.
Dreith was preceded in death by his parents, his brother John Dreith and his sisters, Marie Modic, Linda Kornafel and Amelia Hock. He is survived by his brothers Sam Dreith, Richard Dreith, daughters Laura Jean VanHarn, Donna Marie Dreith, Sandra Kay Dreith and Lisa Diann Ponder, his eight grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
Services will be at Horan & McConaty, 5303 E. County Line Rd., Littleton, CO 80122
Viewing 11:00 – 12:00
Service: 12:00 – 1:00
Internment will be at Ft. Logan National Cemetery later that day