As the new day broke on August 19th, 2021, Benjamin Franklin Simpson, Jr., 96, of Sanford, Maine passed on peacefully at home with his wife and three children by his side.
Ben was born on December 2, 1924 at Ross Hospital in Sanford. Ben was the eldest son of Benjamin F. Simpson, Sr. and Diana Gauthier Simpson.
Ben graduated from Sanford High School in 1943. He played basketball and baseball his freshman, sophomore, and junior years of high school; having to give them up his senior year to work second shift at the Goodall Woolen Mills. His yearbook quote is “A good jest forever”. `
Following his high school graduation, Ben joined the U.S. Navy and served the last three years of World War II. He spent the majority of his time in the Pacific Theater as a Seabee. He was honorably discharged in 1946.
After his military service, Ben attended and graduated from the Burdett School of Business in Boston in 1948 with a degree in Accounting and Business Administration.
Ben met his wife, Thelma Burbank of Alfred, on a blind date (partially orchestrated by his brother) in 1949 and they were married on September 14,1952.
Ben worked for the Goodall Sanford Woolen Mill, American Cyanamid, Seamloc Carpet for 20 plus years as a production manager; followed by Wasco Products as a production planner from which he retired in 1992.
Ben was a lifelong New England sports fan. He once attended both a Boston Bruins and Boston Patriots game on the same day. He attended several World Series games; waiting 80 years to finally see the Red Sox win a World Championship in 2004. He loved everything about sports and especially loved watching his grandchildren compete in a myriad of sports including track and field, field hockey, softball, soccer, baseball, and football. He coached Little League with his son, Jeff, in the 1990s.
He so enjoyed “Friday Night Lights” and faithfully attended local football games, as well as Cony Football games when they were coached by his son-in-law, Ralph. He also enjoyed nights at the racetrack when his son, Jeff, was stock car racing. He was an honorary captain of the Kennebunk High School football team in 2015. He also enjoyed listening to the musical talents of his grandchildren.
Ben enjoyed and loved telling stories of his adventures on annual Lobster Lake fishing trips, several Caribbean cruises with Thelma and friends, and a couple of memorable trips to Las Vegas with his brother, Shrimp. He loved participating in and helping others with various sports contests from College football contests to March Madness. Ben was an avid softball and horseshoe player, horse racing enthusiast, candlepin bowler, and daily crossword completer. He was honored by Miller Lite on his 96th birthday and featured in the Portland Press Herald in December 2020.
Ben was predeceased by his parents; his Aunt Blanche and Uncle Rob Simpson whom he lived with from the age of 13; his siblings, Bertha Simpson Ferro and Raymond “Shrimp” Simpson; his cousins who were like siblings, Warren Simpson and Margaret Simpson Howard; a nephew, Jerry Simpson; as well as his sister-in-laws, Pat Simpson Langlais and Carleen Simpson, and his brother-in-laws, Carroll “Bub” Lord Sr, Raymond Lachance, and Vincent Ferro.
He will be sorely missed by his beloved wife, Thelma, of almost 69 years, his three children - Jeffrey and his wife, Priscilla, of Sanford; Karen Peterson and her husband, Ralph, of Chelsea; and Beth Simpson-Robie and her husband, Glenn, of Kennebunk;
eight grandchildren - Daniel Simpson and his wife, Christie, of North Berwick; Emily Underwood and her husband, Justin, of Hallowell; Steven Simpson and his wife, Kristen, of Alfred; Laura Gervais and her husband, Brandon, of Portland; Kelley Zrioka and her husband, Oliver, of Westbrook; Carlton Robie of Dover, New Hampshire, Anna Peterson of Chelsea; and Forrest Robie of Kennebunk. Three great grandchildren - Lyle Simpson, Josephine Underwood, and Hattie Zrioka. As well as his sisters-in-law, Muriel Lachance and Joan Lord.
“Uncle Benny” was the true Patriarch to the Simpson family with many beloved nieces, nephews, and their spouses, children, and grandchildren and he especially enjoyed the Annual Simpson Reunions. He was not only loved by his family but “Ben” was truly beloved by his children’s friends who loved spending time with him.
The family would like to express their deepest gratitude to Rolly Legere and Sherrie Laughlin for their loving and professional home care provided over the past 18 months, as well as the care of our lifelong neighbor and friend, Nancy Blanchard Campbell RN, and also the team from Compassus Hospice.
The family is planning a private graveside service and a celebration of Ben’s life at a later date.
In lieu of flowers for those who wish to remember Ben, a donation to the Sanford-Springvale Historical Society in his memory would be graciously received. https://www.sanfordhistory.org/join-donate or by mailing a check in memory of Ben to -
The Sanford-Springvale Historical Society
P.O. Box 276
Springvale, ME 04083
Condolences may be expressed at www.blackfuneralhomes.com
Arrangements are under the direction of the Carll-Heald & Black Funeral Homes.com
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