MURRAY, Ky. — Bennett Wood Feldmiller of Murray, Ky., passed away Saturday, May 30, 2009, at the Western Baptist Hospital in Paducah, Ky., of heart complications. Ben’s beloved wife and partner in life of 56 years, Jane, was at his bedside to ease his passage from this life to the next.
Ben was born Oct. 22, 1929, in Cochranton, Pa. His parents, Alex and Opal Feldmiller, preceded him in death along with Ben’s second son, Dan, who died in an automobile accident in 1978.
Ben’s survivors include his wife, Jane; their first-born son, Tim, daughter-in-law, Cindy, of DeKalb, Ill.; and grandchildren, Michael and Kelly; and his brother, Victor of Granville.
The Feldmiller family moved from Grove City, Pa., to Mount Vernon in the 1940s, where his father Alex became superintendent of Assembly for the former Cooper-Bessemer Co., which was the foundation upon which Cooper Industries of Houston was formed in the 1960s.
Ben was a graduate of Mount Vernon High School Class of 1947, where he excelled in both the classroom and athletics. He was selected as the Most Valuable Player for the 1946 Yellow Jackets football team. Ben, along with lifelong friend, Don Reed, enrolled in the University of Cincinnati College of Engineering in a cooperative work/study program sponsored by Cooper-Bessemer. He received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering in 1954, and joined Cooper-Bessemer, where he served in various engineering posts, and later headed the company’s venture in establishing a manufacturing plant in Mexico City.
A U.S. Army veteran, Ben served in the 2nd Armored Division rising to the status of sergeant, while stationed in Fort Hood, Texas, in the mid-1950s.
Ben’s later career path took him to Rockford, Ill., where he was vice president of Customer Service with Fairbanks Morse/Colt Industries in Beloit, Wis., a large engine manufacturer. He, with Jane’s assistance, later relocated to Houston, where they established their own company, Powrparts, which manufactured specialty parts for large industrial engines. Following the sale of the company and retirement, they enjoyed a life of sailing, friends and politics from their home on Lake Conroe, Texas. Lifelong Republicans, Ben and Jane were strong supporters of the GOP.
Following several years of enjoying retirement and their many friends, Ben and Jane decided to relocate to Murray, Ky., to be nearer Tim and his family. Besides family members, Ben will be missed by his many friends whose lives he touched throughout his career and travels.
A memorial service in honor of Ben is planned for Tuesday, June 30, at 2 p.m. at the Gay Street United Methodist Church. The Rev. David Baker will officiate. Interment will follow in Mound View Cemetery, off of Wooster Road.
In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations made in Ben’s honor to Children Inc., 4205 Dover Road, Richmond, VA 23221-3267; email@example.com. Online condolences available at Imesmiller.com. Imes-Miller Funeral Home in Murray, Ky., is in charge of arrangements.