Benjamin P. Atherton

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Benjamin P. Atherton, 82, of Delta passed away peacefully surrounded by his family Monday, March 24, 2014. He was born in Holland, Ohio, on Feb. 9, 1932, one of five children of the late Noel and Zena Atherton. On Dec. 11, 1965, he was united in marriage to Marianne Merrill, who preceded him in death in 2010.

After graduating from Delta High School, Ben served in the U.S Army during the Korean War. Ben retired from Dana Corporation after providing more than 30 years of service. Baseball was a passion for Ben. For over 35 years he enjoyed coaching youth baseball, and enjoyed much success with his teams. Ben was also on staff as an assistant coach with the Delta High School baseball team for many seasons. During and after his coaching tenure, he enjoyed umpiring youth and high school games and following his beloved Detroit Tigers. In addition to baseball, Ben was a real nature lover. He enjoyed tree landscaping, gardening, and caring for birds and other wildlife.

Ben is survived by his children, Mark (Kristina) Merrill of Manitou Beach, Mich., Gregg (Renee) Merrill of Napoleon, and Julie (John) Nowacki of Toledo; grandchildren, Angela (Shad) Yon, Kristina (Nathan) Auclair, Jill (Nick) Saul, and Lauren Nowacki; and five great-grandchildren.

Ben was also preceded in death by three brothers and one sister.

A memorial service celebrating Ben's life will be held 11 a.m. Saturday, April 26, 2014, at Barnes Funeral Chapel in Delta.

Friends and family may visit April 26 at the funeral chapel one hour prior to the service.

In lieu of flowers, those wishing an expression of sympathy are asked to consider contributions to The Lois Merrill Foundation, c/o Angela Merrill Yon, 1616 Jerrilyn Place, Encinitas, Calif. 92024 or the Delta Parks, 402 Main St., Delta, Ohio 43515 in Ben's memory.

Online condolences may be sent to the family through our website at

Funeral Home
Barnes Funeral Chapel
5825 State Hwy 109 Delta, OH 43515
(419) 822-5995
Funeral Home Details
Published in Fulton County Expositor and Swanton Enterprise from Mar. 25 to Mar. 26, 2014
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