Benjamin P. Atherton, age 82, of Delta, passed away peacefully surrounded by his family Monday morning, March 24, 2014. He was born in Holland, OH on February 9, 1932 one of five children to the late Noel and Zena Atherton. After graduating from Delta High School, Ben served in the U.S Army during the Korean War. On December 11, 1965 he was united in marriage to Marianne Merrill who preceded him in death in 2010. Ben retired from Dana Corporation after providing more than 30 years of service.
Baseball was a passion for Ben. For over 35 years he enjoyed coaching youth baseball; where he enjoyed much success with is teams. Ben was also on staff as an assistant coach with the Delta High School baseball team for many seasons. During and after his coaching tenure, he enjoyed umpiring youth and high school games and following his beloved Detroit Tigers. In addition to baseball, Ben was a real nature lover. He enjoyed tree landscaping, gardening and caring for birds and other wildlife.
Ben is survived by his children, Mark (Kristina) Merrill of Manitou Beach, MI, Gregg (Renee) Merrill of Napoleon and Julie (John) Nowacki of Toledo; grandchildren, Angela (Shad) Yon, Kristina (Nathan) Auclair, Jill (Nick) Saul and Lauren Nowacki and five great grandchildren. Along with his wife and parents, Ben was preceded in death by three brothers and one sister.
In lieu of flowers, those wishing an expression of sympathy are asked to consider contributions to The Lois Merrill Foundation c/o Angela Merrill Yon at 1616 Jerrilyn Place, Encinitas, CA 92024 or the Delta Parks, 402 Main St., Delta, Ohio 43515 in Ben’s memory. Online condolences may be sent to the family through our website at www.barnesfuneralchapel.com.
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