Benjamin Tucker Jr.

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AUGUSTA – Benjamin Tucker Jr., a sixth generation Norway native, died April 2, at the Maine General Medical Center.

Ben was born in Norway, May 25, 1925, the eldest child of Benjamin Tucker and Hazel Kimball Tucker. His boyhood was spent in Norway, where he attended school and graduated in the Class of 1943 at Norway High School.

For several years during summer vacation, he was a caddy at the Norway Country Club and was proud of the fact that he was chosen by professional golfer, Jim Browning, to be the caddy for Mr. Browning when he won the 1938 Maine Open at Poland Spring Golf Course. During his high school years, he was active in Drama Club, the school newspaper and was also known for his wit and humor. He spent many happy days with his two childhood friends, Winfield Partridge and Bill Jellison and lifelong friend, Merle Glines.

Upon graduation, he entered the V-12 naval officer training program at Bates College in Lewiston. He later did basic training at the Great Lakes Naval Training Center on the north side of Chicago. He served as gunnery mate on several Liberty Ships including the S.S. John H. Hammond, the Tusculum Victory, the Sea Hydra and the USS Helena in the Atlantic Theater visiting Cuba, England, Wales, France, Holland, Belgium, Spain and Gibraltar during his World War II service. He was discharged in 1946.

He returned home to Norway and later entered the University of Maine in Orono. On Sept. 7, 1951, he married Waterford native, Marion Allen. In January 1952, he graduated from Maine with a degree in journalism. At UMO, he was a member of Phi Mu Delta Fraternity and worked as an editor and reporter for the university newspaper, The Maine Campus.

During his working career, he worked as associated and advertising editor for the Presque Isle Star Herald, The Boothbay Register and eventually returned to Norway to work at his hometown weekly, the Advertiser Democrat, where he eventually became the managing editor.

In 1964, he began work as public information director for the Maine Department of Agriculture and later on did similar work for the Department of Sea and Shore Fisheries, the Department of Commerce and Industry and the Department of Human Services. He also taught journalism at the University of Maine at Farmington in the late 1960s and early 1970s. He retired from the Maine Department of Human Services in 1991, and resided in Readfield, until the death of his wife of 48 years in 1999.

He was a member of the Norway Universalist Church, the Norway Fish and Game Association and a charter member of the Norway Jaycees. He served on several boards and committees during his lifetime.

He loved his hometown and was always proud to tell others that he was “just a Norway boy.” He was always an avid sports fan and thoroughly enjoyed high school and college athletics and the Boston Red Sox. He had an amazing recollection for baseball statistics from the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. He was a wonderful photographer and excellent sketch artist. He enjoyed local and Civil War history and was particularly proud of his service in the Navy. He was an outstanding resource of Maine places, history, geography and its people. There was scarcely a town or city in the state that he did not know someone personally.

He is survived by his children, Ben III, Steven, Mark, Roxanne and Robert; son-in-law, Dan Wight; daughters-in-law, Geli Knaus-Tucker and Lisa Tucker; grandchildren, Ben IV and Katherine Tucker, Stephanie and Justin Knaus-Tucker, Danielle and Steven Wight and William and Trevor Tucker; great-grandson, Benjamin Tucker V; two loving sisters, Sally Bradley of Norway and Betty Angell of Kennebunk; and several nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by his wife, Marion in 1999; a daughter, Mary Ann in 1975; his only brother, Allison Eugene Tucker in 1988; and a sister, Norma in 1932.

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