Connecticut charterboat captain is remembered

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Industry veteran Capt. Benjamin F. Rathbun of Noank, Conn., died July 31 following a long battle with Parkinson's disease. He was 83.

Rathbun ran the charterboat Anna R for more than 30 years. During winters, he worked as a carpenter, delivered boats to various ports, worked aboard the Cross Sound Ferry and built two sportfishing boats for his own business. He finished his career by narrating lighthouse cruises for the Sunbeam Express.

From 1976-2000, he was the owner/operator of Rathbun Marine Survey, and from 1981-88, Rathbun and his wife ran Noank Rose Sailing Charters. He was past chairman of the advisory council to the Connecticut Sea Grant Advisory Service, and he was appointed in 1986 to the National Sea Grant Review Panel, which he served as chairman in 1988 and 1989.

He also was a member of the National Extension Committee of the Food & Agriculture Sciences, USDA, in 1990 and 1991. From 1991-97, he served on the New England Fisheries Council and was chairman of the council's Large Pelagics Oversight Committee. His civic activities include past president of the Connecticut Boatmen’s Association and membership in the Charity & Relief No. 72 Masonic Lodge and four other York Rite bodies.

Rathbun is survived by his wife, Rosalie; his son, Franklin (Suzanne) Rathbun of Mystic; Conn.; and daughters Beth (John) Lukin of New Hampshire and Katherine Rathbun (Bill) Falcone of Noank. He was predeceased by his son, Robert.

At his request, there will be no funeral. However, the family will host a celebration of his memory Aug. 13 at the Latham Chester Store.

Contributions can be made to the Noank Valley Cemetery Association, the Noank Historical Society or the Noank Fire Department.

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