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Head, Benjamin Stuart

Born on June 23, 1921 in Jackson, Ben left this life peacefully on July 16, 2011. Ben was affectionately known as Stuart to his parents and older brother, George, of Macon. After graduating early from high school in 1939, he entered The Georgia Military Academy, where he studied for a year before going to the U.S. Naval Academy. He graduated from Annapolis also early, in the upper one-third of his class, with a degree in Electrical Engineering in 1942 and served in the Navy in the Pacific and European theaters, first on the heavy cruiser USS Chicago (CA-29) and then on the USS Philadelphia (CL-41), a Brooklyn-class light cruiser. While providing convoy support during the battle of Guadalcanal, the USS Chicago was disabled in a Japanese torpedo plane attack on Jan. 29, 1943, and sunk while under tow the next day. Returning to San Francisco, he was stateside for a couple of months before being deployed to serve on the Philadelphia, and provided support to troops during the invasion of Sicily, participating in the defense of Palermo and later providing cover for the 7th Army’s invasion of Italy. Ben stayed in the Navy for a year, serving stateside in Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia before leaving the service. Like many others of “the Greatest Generation,” the war had a significant effect on his life. In February of 1946, he married Sally Teetor, of Cadillac, Mich., whom he met through his best friend, Jim Teetor (her brother), at Georgia Military Academy. Ben went to work at the Cadillac Malleable Iron Company in Cadillac, Mich., where his children Michael, Rebecca and David were born. He then worked for a short period in Ashtabula, Ohio (where George was born). The family left in 1954 for Defiance, Ohio (where Louis was born) for Ben’s work at the Central Foundry Division of General Motors. He resided in Defiance and raised his family until his transfer to Saginaw, Mich., in 1964. He retired from GM as divisional production manager in 1986 and subsequently began work for CMI International of Southfield, Mich., until 1999. Ben was highly respected by his colleagues for his abilities as a process engineer, as well as by his employees for his fair treatment of them. Earning Ben’s respect was a matter of working hard, dealing fairly with others and being respectful, and he gave the same in return. From 1987, he and his wife, Sally, lived in Ann Arbor, and both lived their last years at Glacier Hills Retirement Community. Ben was a man with great integrity and a strong work ethic, formed from his family background and his years in the service. He was a provider for his family and an active member of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Ann Arbor. Ben was preceded in death by his parents, Julia and George Daniel; by Sally, who passed in 2008 after 62 years of marriage; and by his son, David, who died unexpectedly in 1966. He is survived by his brother, George; children, Michael (Mary James) of Pinckney, Mich.; Rebecca (David Stead) of Ann Arbor, Mich.; George (Aaron Lewis) of Hayward, Calif.; Louis of Albuquerque, N.M.; four grandchildren and one great-grandchild. The memorial service is scheduled for 10 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 17, at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, 306 North Division Street, Ann Arbor, Mich., 48104-1497, (734) 663-0518. Donations can be sent to St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, 306 North Division Street, Ann Arbor, Mich., 48104-1497, http://standrewsaa.org/Donate.html; or the South West Organizing Project, 211 10th Street Southwest, Albuquerque, N.M., 87102-2919, (505) 247-8832, http://www.swop.net/; or SOS Community Services, 101 South Huron St., Ypsilanti, Mich., 48197, (734) 484-4300, http://www.soscs.org/. To share a memory, please visit www.muehligannarbor.com.