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Born Sept. 18, 1920, in Carroll County, Miss., to W.W. and Mattie Elizabeth Smith, Ben was the youngest son in a close knit family of 13 children. Ben earned a civil engineering degree from the University of Mississippi in 1944 before joining the Navy, where he served in the Pacific during World War II. After the war, Ben took a job with Conoco Oil Company as a geophysicist.
On July 11, 1950, Ben married Carolyn Jean Nunnally, of Weatherford, with whom he enjoyed 51 years of marriage. During his lengthy career with Conoco, Ben, Carolyn and their two daughters made their home in numerous cities before his retirement in 1983, and their return to Weatherford in 1987.
Ben was a member of All Saints' Episcopal Church, an avid gardener and golfer. A quiet man, Ben never complained (other than about the occasional golf score) and lived the motto, "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all."
Ben was preceded in death by his wife, Carolyn Smith, on Aug. 11, 2001; and his parents.
The family would like to thank Dr. David Reeve and office and all the staff of Autumn Hill Manor for their compassion, love, and excellent care.
Survivors include his daughters, Susan Rowan and husband, John, of McDonough, Ga., and Carol Rudiger and husband, Leland, of Weatherford; six grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; and a sister, Maureen Blake, of Jackson, Miss.