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Benjamin E. Nafus Jr.


05/02/1928 - 04/27/2015 Obituary
Benjamin E. Nafus Jr. Obituary
Our father Benjamin E. Nafus Jr. was born in Niagara Falls New York to Benjamin E. Nafus Sr. and Jean Gordon Taylor-Nafus and graduated from LaSalle High School, upon Graduation dad joined the Coast Guard where he was trained as an electrician and attained the rank of Electricians Mate 1st Class, he served in the Great Lakes and Alaska until 1954.
Dad & Mom were engaged on July 4th 1954, and married the same year on September 11th. Their marriage was blessed with many fantastic accomplishments and memories, and lasted just two weeks short of their 60th wedding anniversary with Mom's passing August 29th 2014.
While being employed with Bell Aircraft as a Machinist and Uhl, Hall and Rich as an Engineering Technician, dad attended the State University of New York College at Buffalo majoring in Geology, and Erie County Technical Institute and earned his Degree in Highway Technology.
In January 1963 Ben was invited to interview for a job in California and was hired by Robert Martin & Associates, the family moved from Niagara Falls NY, to Ventura California. During the eight years living in Ventura he worked in Real Estate, County Planning Dept. and the Merchant Marines. He was hired on in Ventura with Getty Oil in 1967 as Geologic Draftsman. In 1969 dad was offered a position in Bakersfield and upon his accepting the new job he moved the family for the last time to the new home in East Bakersfield where he worked until his retirement from Texaco Oil Company in 1986.
In retirement Ben & Jean were among the first docents that volunteered for CALM living museum where they actively participated in giving youth tours for the local school kids as well as their involvement at Sharks Tooth Hill, assisting with the excavation of fossils and collecting specimens and historical artifacts that are on display at CALM and Buena Vista Museum where Ben and Jean were founding members and went on to assist in the development of the BVM paleontology project. Dad was very active in his retirement and devoted himself to research with mom's endless support. He donated many hours painting historic scenes such as his first two Miocene murals (a Marine and Land Animal mural) that have remained at CALM since 1995.
Ben and Jean travelled extensively throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico and several trips to the United Kingdom. He was a member on the Sierra Sailing Association and actively competed in many regattas and sail boat races.
Dad was preceded in death by his beloved wife Jean Mary Kersell Nafus, (Father) Benjamin Nafus Sr. (Mother) Jean Taylor-Nafus, (Brother) Eugene Nafus, and Brother in law Gordon A. Kersell. Survived by, Benjamin Nafus III (Jill), Laurie Nafus-Hemingway (Scott), David Nafus (Laura), 10 grandchildren and 23 great grandchildren who were his pride and joy.
Dad loved camping and family outings and was a positive force in all our lives and will be fondly remembered for his never ending stories of past adventures.
A celebration of life will be held on May 16th, 201, 11 a.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church 98 Sterling Road, Bakersfield, CA 93307.
Special thanks to Optimal Hospice and Palm Living Staff, in Luo of flowers your donations will be greatly appreciated at the Bakersfield Museum of Natural History.
Published in Bakersfield Californian on May 12, 2015
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