Racine – Benjamin Wellington Ayotte, age 93, passed away February 1, 2018 after a full-life, well lived.
Ben was born in Watersmeet Township, Michigan to Charles and Gladys (Codd) Ayotte.
Ben attended Watersmeet High School and at 14 began driving logging trucks. He left school in the tenth grade to drive logging trucks full time from the Porcupine Mountains to the saw mill in Watersmeet.
Ben entered the US Army on March 7, 1943 and was inducted at Camp McCoy, WI. He was a member of Company ‘C’ 672nd Amphibian Tractor Battalion where he served in the South Pacific under General MacArthur. His squadron was with General MacArthur when General MacArthur retook the Philippines. He was discharged on January 5, 1946, the day after his 21st birthday.
Ben married Georgia Marie Langren in Bessemer, Michigan on May 25, 1946.
After the Service Ben was employed as a semi-truck driver, hauling logs and pulp. He also was a heavy equipment operator, served as Justice of the Peace in Watersmeet, MI. Ben was a small business owner in many services throughout the years. In 1957 he began his career at the White Pine Copper Mine as a driller-blaster. He retired on April 1, 1985 as a shift superintendent when the mine closed. Ben also was owner and operator of his own excavating business in Ewen, Michigan.
Benjamin, also known by most as Papa or Uncle Ben, loved to hunt and loved baseball. He was an avid Milwaukee Braves and then Atlantic Braves fan, playing catcher himself in exhibition baseball in the Pacific Theater during World War II. Ben was a great storyteller and had a personality that was infectious. He knew how to make those around him smile. He loved people, especially caring for the children in his life.
Ben is survived by his wife Georgia and daughters Judith (Howard) Fors, and Marla D. Ayotte, grandchildren Heidi (Ron) Ward and Tim Fors, great grandchildren Jonathan (Kathleen) Otto, Benjamin (Michaela) Otto, Jacob (Stefani) Fors and Eli Fors, and great-great grandchildren Brennan Otto, Parker Otto and Haley Fors. Ben’s brother-in-law and sister-in-law Parnell and Arnoldine Basanese held a special place in his heart. Ben has many beloved nieces and nephews, all across the country.
Ben was preceded in death by his parents, brothers Charles, Keith and James, sister Priscilla June (Joe) Funk and three infant daughters.
A memorial service is pending for spring 2018.
The family would like to thank both the current and former staff at Ridgewood Care Center in Racine, WI for their kindness, compassion and love.