Norway, Maine — Benjamin Franklin Hull, III, of Norway, Maine, formerly of Rockport, died of liver disease on New Year's Eve at the Androscoggin Hospice House in Auburn, Maine. He was 71 years old.
Ben was born on March 26, 1941, in Gloucester, to the late Dorothy Ross Hull and Benjamin F. Hull, Jr. One of only two children, he leaves his sister, Kathryn Heinze, and her husband, Andrew, of Rockport; he also leaves two nieces, Julie Young, of Rockport, and Megan Cucitrone, of Providence, R.I.; and one nephew, Paul Heinze, of North Andover. Ben had four great-nephews and three great-nieces. He also leaves his very dear ex-wife, Anacleta Fitzgerald, of Norway, Maine, and many faithful tried and true friends.
After graduating from Rockport High School in 1959, Ben went on to study mathematics at Boston College, and graduated in 1963. He then spent 30 years programming computers in the Boston area. He started to build his cedar log cabin in Maine in 1973, and became a full time Maine resident in 1990.
Ben had a troubled adolescence, and battled emotional issues all his life. As a youth and as an adult, he "marched to a different drummer", and could be defiant and rebellious, but he was also kind, generous, and honest, and always stood on the side of what was right and just. For years, when he lived in Boston, he edited and distributed "The Boycott Gazette", a newsletter that warned consumers of companies that exploited others for profit.
An inveterate letter-writer, many of us are deeply saddened to think that we will never again find a letter from him in our mailbox. There was no mistaking his letters, with their distinctive hand-writing, and P.S.'s written helter-skelter on the back of the envelope.
Ben loved nature, was from his youth an avid and knowledgable birder, loved music of all kinds, loved people, loved his cat, and loved poetry. He wrote poetry all his life, and In 2010 he proudly published a book of poems entitled "Boston to Maine". All proceeds from its sale went to the Western Foothills Land Trust, to help acquire and preserve land in Maine. He was also an accomplished photographer, composed music, and played piano by ear.
Above all, in later years, he loved and appreciated being part of a close, kindly neighborhood and town community, where he was helped, loved, and accepted for who and what he was. He died at sunset, his family by his side, and a flock of grosbeaks at the bird-feeder outside his window. We suspect he headed off early so as not to be late for a New Year's Eve party in heaven later that evening.
ARRANGEMENTS: There will be a memorial celebration for Ben this summer, in Maine, on July 13, on the day of the Norway Arts Festival. Following the "Poets on the Porch" poetry readings, all his friends are invited to come to a happy "remembering" of him at Boomer's Restaurant, in Norway, Maine, one of his favorite places. Please contact the family for more details. All are heartily welcomed.
If you would like to honor Ben's memory, the loveliest thing you could do would be to perform a kindly and neighborly act on his behalf, whenever you think of him, as a tribute to his Maine neighbors. He loved them dearly, and in all of his last letters home he expressed his deep gratitude for all their kindnesses. T
To contact the family, please email his sister at email@example.com. o listen to Ben reading some of his poetry, go to www.poetsontheporch.com.