WESTBOROUGH, Mass. - Benjamin Randall Duce, 79, of Westborough, died with his family at his side after a brief illness on Tuesday, August 14, 2012. He was born in Brunswick, ME on May 18, 1933 and was the son of the late Dr. H. Benjamin Duce and Elizabeth (Randall) Duce.
Ben is survived by his wife of 56 years, Diane (Stowell) Duce. In addition to his wife, he is survived by two daughters, Elizabeth Sedlins and her husband John, of Lovettsville, VA and Cynthia Cote and her husband, Dennis of Sutton, and one son, Jonathan and his wife Linda of Waltham. He is also survived by six grandchildren and one sister, Ann Swift of Hebron, ME.
Ben was a graduate of Lincoln Academy in Newcastle, ME and received a bachelors degree in biology from Colby College in Waterville, ME in 1954. Later that same year he enlisted in the U.S. Army during the Korean conflict and was honorably discharged in 1957. He was employed for more than 20 years at Astra Pharmaceutical as a research scientist. While there he conducted numerous clinical trials, co-authored publications in scientific journals and registered two patents related to his field. Later he worked at Serono Pharmaceutical and registered another patent. During his career he and his family lived in Molndal, Sweden from 1965-1967.
Ben was a life-long animal lover and founded a home-based pet care business called Companion Associates after his retirement. He was an avid reader and was active in a number of clubs including the Northboro Players Group, the Westborough Civic Club, the American Legion where he served as Deputy Chaplain, and the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War Willie Grout Camp #25 where he served as Camp Commander, Camp Historian and Chaplain. A man of deep personal faith, he served as Treasurer and Junior Warden at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Hopkinton, MA. For several years, he volunteered at the Massachusetts Department of Mental Retardation. In 1995, the Department awarded him with its distinguished achievement award. He also looked forward to attending the Colby Alumni College each summer with his wife.
He had many interests including nature, gardening and playing the piano by ear. He was a master of the English language with a great sense of humor and often included a quote from Shakespeare or Gertrude Stein in a conversation. He delighted his grandchildren by creating treasure hunts, stories and games on demand.
Visiting hours will be Friday, Aug. 24 from 4 to 7 p.m. at St. Paul's Episcopal Church located on 61 Wood Street Hopkinton. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, Aug. 25 at 10:30 a.m. at the church. A private interment will be in Pine Grove Cemetery in Westborough.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to: St. Paul's Episcopal Church, P.O. Box 165 Hopkinton, MA 01748 or Stowell Parker Post, American Legion c/o Commander Nancy Friis-Hansen 16 Adams Street, Westborough, MA 01581.