82, of New York, NY, Chairman Emeritus of the New York City Police Foundation, Chairman Emeritus of the Seamen's Church Institute, former Vice President of the World Rehabilitation Fund, and former partner at Johnson & Higgins, died on September 21 in his home. Born in Patchogue, NY "Ben" was a captain on the Davis Park Ferry by age 16, and later rose to head the marine department of one of the world's largest insurance brokerage firms. A talented clarinet and saxophone player, Ben founded a popular swing band (the "Rhythm Ramblers") while still in high school. On Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts they played their signature tune, "I've Got Tears In My Ears (From Lyin' On My Back In My Bed While I Cry Over You)" live on the air. At 17 he enlisted in the Navy and served on the USS Gilbert Islands. He later attended Boston University, Hofstra University and New York University Law School on the GI Bill. While serving as Chairman of the Seamen's Church Institute on September 11, 2001, he and the staff immediately dedicated SCI and its resources to the rescue efforts at Ground Zero. One day after the attack the Institute was feeding 600 first responders and relief efforts continued for twelve days. He is survived by his beloved wife of 58 years, Evelyn, his daughter Nell and son-in-law Laurence O'Keefe, and his granddaughter, Persephone. Contributions in his memory may be made to the following organizations: The New York City Police Foundation: 555 Fifth Avenue, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10017; The Seamen's Church Institute: 50 Broadway, Floor 26, New York, NY 10004; The World Rehabilitation Fund: 16 E. 40th Street, Suite #704, New York, NY 10016.
Published in New York Times on Sep. 23, 2016.