GLOUCESTER: Benjamin Smith Hedblom, 71, died at his Annisquam home. He was born in Gloucester on May 12, 1944, to the late Richard P. and Juliana (Smith) Hedblom.
As an athlete, Ben excelled at whatever sport he found interesting. He was co-captain of Gloucester High School’s 1962 hockey team, coached by the late Jack Canniff, and widely recognized by veteran players as the most talented team in GHS history. That winning season was highlighted by the victory over Malden Catholic High, Gloucester’s arch rival, a game in which Ben scored four goals.
He won Annisquam Yacht Club’s men’s singles tennis championship in 1971, and that same year he won the Bass Rocks Golf Club’s golfing championship.
Ben was an avid and expert sailor, deeply respectful of the ocean and the forces of nature, wind and weather.
He was a volunteer coordinator and driver for Meals on Wheels during the 1970s, and was a candidate for City Council. Ben was a reserved man of few words except when in the company of children, who were as fond of him as he was of them. He was a loyal brother and friend, and a caring uncle and godfather. Ben had a generous heart and never refused to assist anyone who asked for his help. Ben epitomized the meaning of integrity,as a man who kept his word and could always be relied upon to speak the truth. Yet he often flashed a sardonic grin and lived his life as a bit of a rogue. His unassuming nature was a delightful trait seldom found in many others, and his presence is deeply missed by his family and friends in Florida, New England, and especially in his community of Annisquam.
He is survived by his brother, R. Peter Hedblom and his wife, Christine of Florida; cousins, R. Russell Smith, Grace Schrafft, Rosemary Ziemba, Susan Crotty, Frederick Schrafft, Benjamin Smith III, and Cathleen Smith; his nephews Hunter and Benjamin Hedblom, and his niece, Leah Hedblom. In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his cousins, Patrick Schrafft and Barbara Ramsey.
A collation of remembrances will take place in Annisquam Village Hall, on Saturday, October 3, at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Ben’s memory to the Good Neighbors Program, c/o Sandy Andrew, 23 Norrock Road, Gloucester, MA 01930. Arrangements are by the Greely Funeral Home, 212 Washington Street, Gloucester. For online condolences, please visit .