Benjamin L. Spector, born in Hartford, Conn. on Jan. 27, 1922, died peacefully in Seattle, Wash. on Thursday, Nov. 26, 2015 with his daughter, Julie Spector, by his side.
He was raised in Hartford, Conn. and attended Weaver High School and The University of Connecticut, followed by dental school at the University of Pennsylvania, where he obtained his DDS. He practiced dentistry for a short period of time before enlisting in the U.S. Army during World War II. He served as a Captain in the Philippines and in Kyoto, Japan. In 1949, he married Ebba Melrose, who predeceased him.
Subsequently, he obtained his degree in Orthodontics at Columbia University. Throughout his life he pursued his passion as a pianist, studying at the Julliard Conservatory with Edward Steuermann. In the early 1960s he moved his family of five to Florence, Italy, where he studied piano, taking a leave from the practice of orthodontics. He returned to his practice as an orthodontist in Hartford and in the 1970s opened a second practice in Westerly, R.I.
With a love of the ocean, he took courses through the U.S. Power Squadron and he became the Harbor Master of Shelter Harbor for many years, enjoying fishing, clamming, lobstering, and general boating on Quonnie pond and out to Block Island. Although small in stature, Ben’s presence was felt large on the water and down at Point Dock and Grove Dock.
In 1985, he graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Rhode Island in Music after retiring from orthodontics.
He was predeceased by his son, Adam (in 1991), and daughter, Laura Heinzel (2014), and his wife of 49 years, Ebba (Melrose) in 1998. He is survived by his daughter, Julie; his granddaughter, Moriah Gornstein (and Dave); his grandson, Aaron Heinzel (and Leah); and four great-grandchildren, Rachel, Gabriel, Wesley and Alyssa.
Funeral services are through Weinstein Mortuary in Hartford. There will be a graveside service at the Hebrew Benevolent Association in Cemetery #3 in Preston, Conn. on Tuesday, Dec. 1 at noon. There will be services that evening at 7 p.m. at 81 Wagner Road, Westerly, R.I.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Shelter Harbor Conservation Society or the Mystic Aquarium.