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Carlton Benjamin, Northport Chorale Founder

Photo courtesy of Elaine Benjamin.
Photo courtesy of Elaine Benjamin.

*Obituary courtesy of Elaine Benjamin.

Carlton E. Benjamin, 88, of Northport, passed away Oct. 11, at the Northport V.A. Medical Center.

Carlton was born in Morris, NY to Harold L. and Helen E. (Young) Benjamin.  He graduated from Oneonta High School Class of 1942. He proudly served in the U.S. Navy during WWII as a pharmacists mate from 1943-1946 on a tank landing ship, LST-209 (USS Bamberg County).  In 1948, Carlton married the love of his life, Evelyn (Wiest) at Atonement Lutheran Church, Oneonta. He received a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Hartwick College in 1949 where he was a member of Alpha Sigma Phi fraternity and the choir, and did post graduate studies at SUNY Oneonta, C.W. Post and Alfred University.

Carlton purchased his first home in Levittown, Long Island under the G.I. Bill. He moved his family to Northport, NY after visiting the area and falling in love with it.  He worked as an agent for Prudential and Lutheran Mutual insurance companies; and as a teacher in several school districts including Northport, Deer Park, North Shore H.S. in Glen Head, and Harborfields School District where he taught science from 1965 to 1967.  He retired from H.A.R.T. Bus Company of Huntington, NY.   

Carlton’s love for music inspired him to create the Northport Chorale for which he served as first president.  His legacy lives on as the Chorale celebrates thirty years sharing the gift of song at nursing homes, summer concerts at Northport Harbor, and other venues throughout Long Island.  Until his illness he was an active member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, East Northport, NY serving as a member of the choir and bell choir, usher, and Sunday school teacher.  He was instrumental in leading a drive to obtain air conditioning for the church. A life-long love for learning led Carlton and his wife to enjoy many trips.  Particularly memorable were a family trek across the U.S. in 1964 and a trip to Hawaii in 1998 in celebration of their 50th wedding anniversary.  Following his retirement he and his wife made annual winter visits to Largo, Florida where they made many new friends.  In May of 2012, at the age of 87 he had the privilege of attending a WWII Honor Flight to Washington D.C. accompanied by his grandson and a hundred veterans from Long Island.  He was a man of many talents being proficient in art, auto mechanics, and carpentry and he loved regaling friends with jokes and introducing them to new places.  Most of all, he was a beloved husband, father, grandfather and friend to many. 

He is survived by his wife, Evelyn and three daughters and their husbands; Elaine (Rich Rosner) of Vestal, NY, Pamela (Don) Woods of Northport, NY, and June (George) Hart of Punta Gorda, FL; six grandchildren: Christopher and Heather Woods, Jessica, Kellie, Sara and Katie Hart; one great-grandchild, Sierra Rose Woods; and several cousins including Beverly (Richard) Pratt of Johnson City, NY and Mary Ann (Raymond) Marks of Ewing, NJ.

Burial with a military honor guard was held at Oneonta Plains Cemetery on Nov. 9, 2013.  Donations in Carlton’s memory may be made to the Northport Chorale, P.O. Box  #55, Northport, NY  11768; or Honor Flight Long Island, c/o Southampton VFW Post 7009, P.O. Box 1314, Southampton, NY 11969.

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