Marblehead — Benjamin Seaver Smith, 92, longtime Marblehead resident and summer resident of Nelson, NH, died peacefully at home on February 3, after a brief illness. He was born on May 30, 1921, in Yonkers, NY, to Laura Seaver and Edric Brooks Smith. The family summered in Nelson, NH, where Ben at age twelve, met his beloved wife, Joan Vincent. They married in Feb. 1945 and enjoyed 51 years together. Ben attended Scarborough School and graduated from Belmont Hill School and Harvard College (class of 1944) with a BS in Engineering. Due to a severe football injury he was frustrated not be accepted for active military service in WWII. However, he contributed greatly to the war effort at GE, where he helped design an underwater unidentified object detector. This was used by the Navy to save many lives on submarines. After the war, Ben had a highly rewarding 28 year career at MIT Instrumentation Laboratory which later became the Charles Draper Laboratory. He helped design the first inertial guidance system and flew on the first transcontinental airplane flight without a pilot. He later worked on the Apollo Project and the Mars Space Probe.
After his retirement Ben and Joan enjoyed traveling, visiting grandchildren in Atlanta and enjoying their cottage in Nelson, NH. They made lifelong friends wherever they went. After his wife’s death, Ben found solace in birding which blossomed into a passion. He went on numerous international Audubon trips and thoroughly enjoyed volunteering at the Joppa Flats Education Center.
He was a gentle man to his core and a lifelong learner. His many interests, which he enthusiastically shared with others, included sailing, skiing, astronomy, traveling, and a commitment to eating blueberries. He was active in the community serving as president of Glover School PTA, member of the Whiting Club, as well as numerous roles in the Unitarian Universalist Church of Lynn.