When Ben Larson died last year in March, he was eight days shy of his ninety-first birthday. These were years well-lived.
In March 1925, Ben was born in Westhampton Beach and graduated from Westhampton Beach High School in 1942, at age 17. He spent World War II serving in the Navy from 1943 through 1946. Much of his service was in Hilo, Hawaii, as a member of the SEABEES.
Following his military service, he attended Farmingdale State College and graduated with a degree in Landscaping and Horticulture. This led to Ben owning a landscape contracting business that operated in the Westhampton area for over fifty years. He was often consulted for landscaping projects in the Village and was a strong advocate for many improvements in the Village. He was especially involved in the creation of the sidewalks along South Road and on the way to Rogers Beach.
He served the village in the Ambulance Corps, Kiwanis and the Westhampton Fire Department. Ben was an active member of our VFW Post 5350. As one of the main coordinators of the annual golf outing, Ben was responsible for generating many sponsors of the outing. Tens of thousands of dollars in scholarships have been donated in local High schools due to the hard work and dedication of Ben and his comrades in Post 5350.
On a personal note, Ben was a well-known character around town. Everyone knew his truck and more noticeably his air horn. Ben was known to “light people up” with his horn. If Ben blasted his horn at you, it was a sign of affection.
When you open the door, leaving the premises tonight, that huge, big-hearted sound that hits you will only be Ben Larson’s air horn lighting you up. It is only the memory of someone we can never forget, and who will never be replaced.
From unpublished obituary provided by the Hubbard family