The campus community mourns the passing of Bennett “Ben” Willeford, Jr., who died on Saturday, September 22. Ben retired as Professor Emeritus of Chemistry after 33 years of service to Bucknell.
Fellow colleagues of Ben’s shared with me the following citation that was read at the 1984 Commencement upon his retirement:
“Since 1950 you have served this University with honor, demanding of students their finest effort and receiving their gratitude. With firmness of spirit and gentleness of heart you have reminded us of what is right and true. As young Turk and as elder statesman, you have earned the esteem and affection of your colleagues. We applaud the example of your fine teaching and your loyalty to Bucknell, and wish you well as you continue your research in Germany and England next year.”
Included below is the complete text of the obituary, as published.
You are encouraged to visit our In Memoriam Site at bucknell.edu/InMemoriam and share personal notes of sympathy and remembrance with others.
On behalf of our entire University community, I extend our deepest sympathies to Ben’s family and friends, as well as to all who knew him at Bucknell.
John C. Bravman
Bennett “Ben” Rufus Willeford, Jr., 96, formerly of 75 Maplewood Drive, Lewisburg, entered into rest Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018, at RiverWoods, Lewisburg.
He was born Oct. 28, 1921, in Greenville, S.C., the only son of Bennett R. Sr. and Elizabeth (Thomson) Willeford. Ben’s twin sisters died shortly after birth and he never knew them.
Ben was educated in the public schools of Charlotte, N.C., at Emory University, Atlanta, Ga., and the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
In 1950, he became a member of the faculty of the Chemistry Department of Bucknell University, Lewisburg. Ben taught there until his retirement in 1984. After retirement from Bucknell, he continued to teach for nine years at various schools in the United States including Earlham College and Baylor University, as well as schools in Germany, India, and Liberia.
Ben was actively involved with a number of local, national, and international peace and social justice organizations.
Surviving are two first cousins, Nancy Nickels of Charlotte, and Margaret Thomson McCallum of Chester, S.C.
A memorial service will be conducted at 2 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25, at the First Baptist Church, 51 S. Third St., Lewisburg.
Memorial gifts may be made to the First Baptist Church, 51, S. Third St., Lewisburg, PA 17837, or the Mennonite Central Committee, 21 S. 12th St., Akron, PA 17501, or to another organization devoted to peace and social justice issues.
Funeral arrangements are by Roupp Funeral Home Inc., 8594 Old Turnpike Road, Mifflinburg.
Leave your condolences online at www.rouppfuneralhome.com.