Ben Kushner died at his home in Belfast Feb. 9, 2011; he was 96.

His wife of 70 years, Margaret, went before him five months ago.

He leaves behind his children and their families; Lisa Kushner and husband Patrick Walsh of Morrill; Richard Kushner and wife Carol of Brooklyn, N.Y.; and Karen Wolberger and husband Lionel of Jerusalem. Also surviving are his grandchildren and their families; Silas Walsh and Danielle Mayer of Belfast, Jasper and Bryn Walsh of Newburgh, Jake Naso Kushner, Louise Kushner and Kevin Kushner of Brooklyn, N.Y., and Roslyn, Michael and Amitai Wolberger of Jerusalem. He had one great grandchild, Cora Grace of Brooklyn.

He spoke often of love for his siblings Ann, Arthur and Kenneth, who predeceased him.

Ben was born in Bronx, N.Y., to Russian Jewish immigrants.

He graduated from DeWitt Clinton High School and enjoyed a year of City College where he was active in drama and progressive politics. He organized for the printers union before enlisting in the army.

During his four years of service he traveled with the 23rd General Hospital, part of the 5th Army, working as a medical equipment mechanic throughout North Africa, Italy and France. He witnessed much suffering but was silent about it until his final years.

After the war the family lived in Bayside, Queens. Ben worked in a printing plant as a paper cutter and then managed a group of trade schools. He developed a training program to help disabled adults become more independent, which won him recognition from the New York State Department of Rehabilitation.

After his retirement he and Marge traveled to Mexico and Florida in winter. They settled in Belfast when they were in their mid-70s.

Ben was fascinated by people and was always interested in what made them tick. He was a gregarious, extroverted person who appreciated conversation, music, food and young people. He was well organized and mechanically handy, a fine furniture restorer and appreciator of beauty. He was a devoted husband and a kind father. Ben was a founding member of the Belfast Maskers, performing in many plays. He loved any kind of dancing and was always delighted to participate in the Thursday night street dances in the summer.

The family is grateful to the many helpers who assisted the couple in their very old age, especially Shirley and Jack Morse, who were there for Ben throughout the last five months.

A memorial service to celebrate the lives of Ben and Marge will take place Sunday, May 8, at Waldo County Shrine Club at 1 p.m. The community is invited. Donations in Ben’s memory can be made to Veterans for Peace, 96 Harlow St. Suite 100, Bangor, ME 04401 or to Belfast Summer Nights, c/o Belfast Arts Council, P.O. Box 1008, Belfast, ME 04915.