BATH — Benton Vaughn Sturgeon, 87, of Bath, died Oct. 22, 2014, at Parkview Adventist Medical Center after several years of declining health. Born on Oct. 7, 1927, he was one of 13 children (nine of whom lived to adulthood) born to Benjamin and Lydia Brann Sturgeon of St. John Plantation, ME.

He attended a tworoom school in St. John; one year taught by his sister Eleanor Sturgeon. During cold weather, he and his father started the woodstove fires to warm up the classrooms. Ben left school in his teens and went to work as a farmhand in Houlton, ME. He also picked potatoes and worked alongside his father doing maintenance for the Bangor & Aroostook Railroad.

He served two years in the U.S. Navy, stationed at Argentia, Newfoundland. He and a friend moved to Hartford, CT, in 1947 and worked installing TV antennae. In 1948, he moved to Bath where his brother-in-law, George Fitzgerald, helped him get a job as a rigger at Bath Iron Works where he worked for almost 40 years. He met Clare I. Babine of Bath. They married in 1953, settled at the south end of Bath, and had four children.

Ben was a real outdoorsman; he especially loved fishing and hunting. He tied his own trout and salmon flies and built a canoe from a kit. He built a rock fireplace at the Basin in Phippsburg so the family could enjoy cookouts on the shore. In later years, he and Clare spent time at Seboomook Wilderness Campground on Moosehead Lake. He enjoyed snowmobiling and fourwheeling both at Seboomook and, in the winter, on Winnegance

Creek. For many years, he cut his own firewood using a saw that he built from an old one-lunger engine, a large sawblade, and a tree that he fashioned into a stand. Ben enjoyed all animals, birds especially, but not the gray squirrels that emptied the birdfeeders. Ben was predeceased by his parents; brothers, Clarence and Melvin; and sisters, Melissa Fitzgerald, Eleanor Connors, Doris Zimmerman, and Iona Shirley. His wife, Clare I. Sturgeon, passed away on July 17, 2013.

He is survived by sisters, Nora Kelley, 92, of St. Francis, ME and Avis Bendure, 89, of Livingston, Texas. He is also survived by his sons, Barry M. Sturgeon of Bath, ME and Warren C. Sturgeon (Kipp) (wife Mary) of Salem, CT; daughters, Laurie A. Reed (husband James) of Bath and Kerry E. Nelson (husband Albert) of West Bath; granddaughters, Erin A. Sturgeon of Brighton, MA and Elizabeth R. Nelson of West Bath, ME; sister-inlaw, Mary (Dot) Mullen of West Bath; brother-in-law, William Smart of Bath; as well as many nieces and nephews.

The family would like to thank the staff at Parkview Adventist Medical Center in Brunswick for their care over the years. They would also like to extend heartfelt thanks to the staff of Stewart Hall, the dementia unit, at Winship Green Center for Health and Rehabilitation in Bath for their loving care of Ben over the last 16 months.

Per Ben’s wishes, there will be no funeral. A graveside service will be held at the St. John Protestant Cemetery in St. John, ME. Arrangements are by Direct Cremation of Maine.