Ben H. Loper, 96, passed away peacefully in Palm Harbor, Florida October 28, 2017. He was born September 2, 1921 in Meridian, Mississippi.
Ben graduated high school in Jackson, MS. He went on to Mississippi State where he studied Chemical Engineering and played football for the Bulldogs. After the start of World War II, Ben enlisted in the Army, where he served in the 5th Air Force with the 15th Weather Squadron. He spent 25 months in the South Pacific. Ben served in the Bismarck Archipelago Campaign and the New Guinea campaign. He was decorated with 2 bronze stars, the Good Conduct Ribbon and the Victory Medal. He was discharged January 6, 1946 and married Virginia Bard in Chicago, IL on February 10, 1946.
Ben returned to college at The Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago where he graduated in 1950 with a BS in Chemical Engineering. He accepted a job with the American Cyanamid Company in Stamford, CT, where he spent his whole professional career. Ben finished his career as President of the Europe, Middle East, Africa Division, out of Wayne, NJ.
He and Virginia retired to Clearwater, FL in 1982 where he continued to serve on several Boards of Directors, including the First Chemical Corporation in Jackson, MS. He was very active in his church and served as a tutor for at risk youths in the community. Ben was a member of the Power Squadron and enjoyed boating, golf, and travel. He and "Ginny" traveled extensively during their retirement years, visiting all seven continents.
Ben was preceded in his death by his parents Frances and Elie (Miller) Loper and his siblings, Ruth Madelyn, Carl, Frank, and John; and his wife of 71 years, Virginia (Bard). Ben is survived by his sons Jeffrey, Phillip (Kathy), and daughter Deborah (Peter) Keane; his four grandchildren, Jonathan, Lisa, Michael, and Anna Keane, and many dear nieces and nephews.
A graveside service will be held on Saturday, April 28, 2018, 11:00 AM at the Miller Family Cemetery, Minnow Bucket Road, Lockhart, MS; off of Route 45.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Air Force ROTC Warhawk Fund, Illinois Institute of Technology, 10 West 35th Street, Suite 1700, Chicago, IL 60616 or online at https://alumni.iit.edu/AFROTC