Benjamin J. Walker, 94, of Carver Circle, Simsbury, CT, beloved Husband, Father and Grandfather, passed away peacefully on Monday, October 19, 2020 at John Dempsey Hospital in Farmington, CT of complications from chronic illness. Mr. Walker was the husband of the late Irene (Wilks) Walker, to whom he was married to for over 52 years, until her death, March 24, 2000. Born at home November 12, 1925 in New Britain, he attended local schools and was a graduate of New Britain Senior High School. Upon returning from Overseas U.S. Navy Service, Ben married his high school sweetheart, a WWII nurse, and enrolled under the GI Bill at Saint Michael's College in Vermont. He graduated in 1950, earning a B.S. degree, with honors, in Business Administration and later attended the Hartford College of Law.
Ben was employed by Aetna Life and Casualty for over 40 years, in several field offices and in Hartford as a Claim Officer and Executive in the Home Office Claim Department, retiring in 1992. He also served as an Officer of the Hartford Claim Association and was an Associate of the International Claim Association and Eastern States Claim Conference.
A decorated veteran of World War II, he enlisted at age 18, and served with pride and honor on active duty 1944-1946, as a Navy Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy 121st N.C.B. "SEABEE" Battalion 4th Marine Division. His military awards and decorations include: American Theater Campaign Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Theater Campaign Medal with Two Bronze Battle Stars, WWII Navy Occupation Service Medal, Navy Expert Carbine Rifleman Medal, Navy Seabee Combat Medal, WWII Victory Medal, Connecticut Veterans Wartime Service Medal, and his Battalion earned a Navy Presidential Unit Citation for combat action in the invasion and battles for the Japanese held Saipan and Tinian Islands, Marianas. From North Field, Tinian, U.S. Army Air Corps B-29 Super Fortresses, bombed Japan, and dropped two atomic bombs, ending WWII.
A Simsbury resident for over 60 years, Mr. Walker was a life member, former Vice Commander, Post Advocate and Color Guard Rifleman of the Simsbury Veterans of Foreign Wars Metacomet Post #1926 and American Legion Tomalonis-Hall Post #84 and life member of Navy "SEABEE" Veterans of America X-I, Torrington, CT. He participated in the living history curriculum at Simsbury High School for many years, educating students on life during the Depression and WWII era. He was also a member of Saint Mary's Catholic Church, Simsbury Historical Society, Simsbury Codgers, Friends of the Simsbury Public Library, Saint Michael's College 50 Year "Golden Knights", and a Charter Member of the National World War II Memorial, Washington, D.C.
Ben is survived by a loving devoted daughter, Donna Walker Margolies and her husband Eric of Carlisle, MA, two adored and cherished grandchildren, Julie Margolies, of Washington , DC and Michael Margolies, of Portland, Maine, as well as many special nephews, nieces, cousins and many dear friends. Besides his wife, Irene, he was predeceased by his parents Benjamin and Florence, daughter Margaret, brother Leon, and two sisters, Irene and Theresa, four brothers-in-law, Stanley, Les, John and Edward, and his dear aunts Laura Tyburski and Josephine Bojnowski.
Ben will be sadly missed and mourned by his family and relatives and everyone else who knew and loved him. The Colangelo and Taylor families, as well as his neighbors on Carver Circle will especially miss his upbeat and encouraging ways. All of us will fondly remember his quick smile, kind manner, loyalty and support for military veterans, his religious faith, love of country and strong American patriotism. We shall honor and forever keep alive his memory in our hearts.
Graveside Service and Burial with full military honors will take place at 12 Noon on Thursday, October 29th in the family cemetery plot at Holy Name of Jesus Cemetery at the corner of West Street and Porter Street in South Deerfield, MA. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Paul Newman's Own Foundation, Westport, CT 06880, the Simsbury Land Trust, P. O. Box 634, Simsbury, CT 06070, or to a charity of the donor's choice. The Vincent Funeral Home of Simsbury is caring for the arrangements. Please visit Ben’s “Book of Memories” at www.vincentfunerallhome.com for online tributes.