Kenneth A. Benjamin

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Kenneth A. Benjamin

  • BORN: April 30, 1926
  • DIED: June 30, 2017
  • LOCATION: Essex, Connecticut

Kenneth Allie Benjamin of Essex died June 30, 2017 at the age of 91. He was born on April 30, 1926 to A.C. Benjamin and Myrtle Miller Benjamin in Canton, Ohio and spent most of his youth in Little Falls, New York. Ken demonstrated his flair for engineering at an early age (8) when he and a friend next door set up a telegraph wire across the driveway to communicate in Morse code. It was an ingenious arrangement until a dump truck rumbled down the drive and took everything with it. Following his graduation from The Berkshire School in 1944, Ken entered the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Despite a brief draft into the US Navy during World War II, he graduated with a degree in electrical engineering in 1950. During his time at MIT, he was a proud member of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity. In 1949, Ken married Augusta Mills of Little Falls, NY. After graduating from MIT, he and Augusta moved from Boston to Cleveland, Ohio where Ken began his engineering career with Reliance Electric, specializing in industrial control equipment. In 1963, he presented a paper on the silicon controlled rectifier as a power supply for a variable speed drive; the early stages of automation. After 17 years with Reliance, the Benjamin family moved to Wilton, Connecticut in 1967, where Ken worked for various engineering firms, including Electric Regulator, Automation Engineering Laboratory, and Levi Strauss Research & Development. All involved the design and development of industrial electronic control products in the apparel manufacturing industry. In 1973, Ken contributed to the development of an electro-optical control system called the Servo-Sewer at Levi Strauss, automating construction of the front pockets on Levi blue jeans. In 1983, after all the children had left home, Ken and Augusta moved to Providence, Rhode Island, and then Greensboro, North Carolina, where Ken continued his work with textile machinery at Leesona Corporation. Ken retired from Leesona in 1991. The Benjamins appreciated their time in the South, where Ken pursued his many hobbies, including "official rules" croquet in the backyard. Ken also enjoyed sailing and was a gifted woodworker, building tables, bookcases and an authentic Irish harp. He entertained and educated his children by creating an N-scale train layout with papier-mâché mixed in the kitchen blender causing sparks to fly, building an extensive slot car track practically filling the basement that featured a digital lap counter (in 1966!), and setting up a complete darkroom with wet sink and professional enlarger. He was devoted to the Adirondacks in upstate New York, where he and his family spent many vacations. In 1996, Ken and Augusta were delighted to move back north to Essex, Connecticut, to be close to family and boating on the Connecticut River. Ken leaves behind his wife of nearly 68 years, Augusta, and their four children; Barbara Haines (Stephen) of Essex, Jenny Wucher (Joseph) of Redwood City, California, David Benjamin (Romani) of Melbourne, Australia and Sarah Benjamin (John Holland) of Truro, Massachusetts, as well as six grandchildren and three great-grandsons. Ken's secret to a long life was a nightly gin martini on the rocks with a garlic-stuffed olive at five o'clock and a highly-tuned, very dry sense of humor – just like his martini. Donations may be made in his name to Essex Library Association, 33 West Avenue, Essex, CT 06426. There will be a private graveside service at Riverview Cemetery in Essex, CT. To share a memory of Kenneth, or send a condolence to his family, please visit Arrangements by Robinson, Wright & Weymer Funeral Home, Centerbrook.

Graveside Service


“ Augusta, I was so sorry to read of your husband's passing - I send my deep sympathy at this time. Shirley Malcarne ”

Posted by: Shirley Malcarne - Esse, CT

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