Portland, ME – Benjamin Arthur Hubley died of natural causes at his residence in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, on June 14, 2018. He was 97 years old.
The son of Stella Jane Middleton Hubley and Percy Lee Hubley, Ben was born in Goshen, N.B., in 1920. The family emigrated to the U.S. and the Augusta, Maine, area in 1924. Intrigued by his family history, Ben later made several genealogical research trips to Canada.
He grew up on Pleasant Hill Road, Augusta. To earn money, as he later recalled, he’d sell wild water lilies and the publication Grit.
Ben graduated from Cony High School. In his teens he was “mic-struck” — captivated by radio — and founded a Cony Radio Club. Through the weekly club broadcast on WRDO, Ben got to know Harriette Hall, a cellist who performed with her sisters as the Hall Trio on the show. Ben and Hattie married in 1941.
Prior to World War II, Ben earned high marks at the Massachusetts Radio School, Boston, becoming well qualified for U.S. Army Signal Corps service after Pearl Harbor. As an operator-technician in the radio-relay network supporting Gen. Eisenhower’s headquarters, Ben served in North Africa, Malta, France and Italy. His role in repairing an antenna while under fire in Anzio, Italy, was recognized by the Kennebec Journal newspaper.
After the war, he worked in radio in Massachusetts — where his duties at WMNB, in North Adams, included broadcasting in knee-deep floodwaters and hosting “The Song Shop” — and then in Vermont until 1958, when he became station manager at WCSH Radio in Portland, Maine. At that point, the Hubley family bought the house in South Portland, Maine, where Ben and Hattie would reside for 55 years.
Ben moved to WCSH-TV and the field of advertising sales in 1967, and retired from the station as regional sales director in 1985.
Though a very private man, Ben was funny, wise and devoted to his family. His interests included music and literature (notably Emerson), gardening and cooking, fishing, bird watching, riding his bike to yard sales, amateur radio and computers.
He was predeceased by his wife, Harriette Linnell Hall Hubley, in 2017; by sisters Rosa and Carole; by brothers Leslie, Cecil and one who died unnamed at birth; by his parents; and by a son, Dennis.
Ben is survived by his children: daughters Susan and Nancy, and Nancy’s partner, Hiram Torres; son Douglas and Douglas’ wife, Gretchen; by his sister Shirley; and by nieces and nephews.
The family expresses its deep gratitude to the staff at Cape Memory Care, Cape Elizabeth, for their unfailing kindness and compassion toward Ben and Hattie, especially during their final weeks. We’re also deeply grateful to the staff of Beacon Hospice for making Ben’s departure as easy as possible for all concerned.
No public service is planned. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Maine Audubon Society in Ben’s honor will be appreciated: https://www.maineaudubon.org/support/give/.