Benjamin Kelley Goodspeed

Benjamin Kelley Goodspeed  

 Benjamin Kelley Goodspeed (96) passed away peacefully at Liberty Commons Rehabilitation & Skilled Care Center in North Chatham on January 26, 2021. He was listening to Chatham Band music quietly playing, had a family visit and died of natural causes.
     Ben was the son of the late George W. Goodspeed Sr. and Dorothy E. Kendrick Goodspeed. He was born on March 12, 1924 in Chatham. He was a native son of several generations of Cape Codders and was the true embodiment of a “local.” He was predeceased by his devoted wife of 63 years, Ruth Allyne (Boone) Goodspeed of Alabama and their beloved son, Benjamin Carl Goodspeed of Chatham. Ben was also predeceased by his sister, Gladys, and her husband Claude W. (Dick) Lumpkin of Chatham.
     Ben graduated in the Chatham High School class of 1941. He was a well-known trumpet player from the time he won a talent show at the Orpheum Theater when he was in the second grade. He wore a Lord Fauntleroy suit that had previously been worn by Albert Nassi when he played for the King of Albania.  Albert’s father, Thomas Nassi, started instrumental music in the Chatham school where he taught Ben.  Nassi was also the first director of the Chatham Band.  Since the age of 14, Ben played trumpet in the Chatham Band. He also played in the Foggy Five, Nik-Nax, the Union Dance Band throughout the Cape, The Dreamers, the Army Air Force Recruitment Band and at military services for the American Legion.  After graduation, he worked at Pratt & Whitney and Sikorsky Aircraft in Connecticut. He enlisted in the Army-Air Force on March 3, 1944 and was sent to Alabama where he met his wife Allyne. He was discharged November 10, 1945 and they moved back to Chatham to stay.  After the war he worked at Manson Motor Sales (now Chatham Ford) as service manager for 10 years.  He owned and successfully operated Goodspeed’s Gulf Station for 26 years. He was known for hiring local help (male and female), students under a school sponsored training program, off-duty Coast Guard, and summer baseball players.  Ben was a volunteer member of the Chatham Fire Department and Rescue Squad. He helped transport the 32 survivors of the Pendleton to the Coast Guard Station for medical treatment.  He was a Bank Director for the Bank of New England. Ben was a member and former trustee of the Chatham Methodist Church, a member of the St. Martin’s Masonic Lodge, former director of the Chatham Historical Society, member of the Conservation Foundation, the Chamber of Commerce, Council of Aging, and the American Federation of Music.  Ben spent 12 years on the Chatham Finance Committee—six as co-chairman. He was named “Man of the Year” by the Chatham Rotary in 1987. He was elected part-time Chatham selectman in 1989. He always tried to be fair and accessible to the citizens. He served until 1992 when he decided not to run again in order to have some free time.
     Ben has always been an avid golfer. He joined Eastward Ho! Country Club in 1983. He was proud to go from caddying at the Chatham Bars Inn and Eastward Ho! to the first, and perhaps only, Chatham native to serve as President of Eastward Ho! from 1997 to 2000. In 2015 he became a Senior Emeritus member.  Ben was thrilled to be named the Chatham July 4th Parade Marshall in 2016.
     His hobbies included traveling with Allyne, spending vacations at their time-share in Fort Myers Beach, boating, fishing, boat racing and watching sports on television. He especially enjoyed times with both his family and friends on Monomoy and North Beach. The late Kenneth Eldredge was his best friend throughout his life and was involved in many of his activities.
Ben is survived by his brother, George Goodspeed Jr. and his wife Linda of Chatham and their son George Goodspeed 3rd of Colorado. He is also survived by his devoted niece Donna Lumpkin of Chatham, and cousins Roxane Carnes of Chatham,  Karen Goggins of Harwich, and Andrew F. Eldridge of  Yarmouthport and Florida. He has many nieces and nephews on Allyne’s side of the family that he has kept close to. David and Jody Kinner of Northampton and their children also remained close friends of Allyne and Ben.
     The family wishes to express their sincere thanks to the staff and Hospice of both Liberty Commons and the Victorian for the great care and especially their true friendships with Ben during this last difficult year.
     Because of the COVID restrictions, burial will be private in the family plot at Seaside Cemetery. A celebration of life will be held at a later date.
     In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the First United Methodist Church, 16 Cross St, Chatham, MA 02633, the Chatham Band Inc., P.O. Box 14, Chatham, MA 02633 or a charity of your choice. Please note “In memory of Benjamin K. Goodspeed.”
     For online condolences please visit: www.nickersonfunerals.com