16 July 2011 — Ann Arbor, MI
Benjamin Stuart Head, June 23, 1921 – July 16, 2011
Born on June 23, 1921 in Jackson, GA, Ben left this life peacefully on July 16, 2011. Ben was affectionately known as Stuart to his parents and older brother, George, of Macon, GA. 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 1/3 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 January 29th, 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, MI, 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, Michigan, 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, OH (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, MI in 1964. He retired from GM as Divisional Production Manager in 1986 and subsequently, began work for CMI International of Southfield, MI 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. Andrews Episcopal Church in Ann Arbor. Ben is 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, his children, Michael (Mary James) of Pinckney, MI; Rebecca (David Stead) of Ann Arbor, MI; George (Aaron Lewis) of Hayward, CA; Louis of Albuquerque, NM; and four grandchildren and one great-grandchild. The memorial service is scheduled for 10 AM, Saturday, September 17, 2011 at St Andrew's Episcopal Church (306 North Division Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48104-1497, 734.663.0518). Donations can be sent to St Andrew's Episcopal Church (306 North Division Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48104-1497, http://standrewsaa.org/Donate.html or the South West Organizing Project 211 10th Street Southwest, Albuquerque, NM 87102-2919, 505.247.8832, http://www.swop.net/ or SOS Community Services, 101 South Huron St. Ypsilanti, MI 48197, 734.484.4300, http://www.soscs.org/.
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