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Obituary: Benjamin A.G. Fuller

Benjamin A.G. Fuller, died Oct. 12, four days short of his 91st birthday. Born the youngest of five siblings in Dover, Mass., his family moved to Milton where he attended and graduated from Milton Academy in 1936. Subsequently, Ben enrolled in Princeton University where he was a self described "mediocre student" but an avid hockey player and a raucous member of the Ivy Club.

Following graduation he was commissioned in the Army and served with field artillery in Tunisia, Italy, and France. As Captain of the 601 Tank Destroyer Battalion he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for "extraordinary heroism" during an action in February 1943 when under enemy fire he collected five stranded men and then returned to the field in an unarmored vehicle to ensure that none of his personnel or usable equipment were left behind. The then Captain Fuller was awarded the Silver Star for action in March 1943 when he recovered wounded crew and a vehicle and then after being wounded and refusing evacuation returned to a disabled enemy machine gun and captured several prisoners. While being treated for his wounds in the 9th Evacuation hospital he fell in love with his nurse, Roberta Tayloe of Virginia, whom he married in Italy in 1944.

Ben remained in the Army until 1950 during which time he was assigned to work with Russian prisoners of war in Germany, studied at Columbia University and received a Masters degree in Russian from Harvard University. He was then recruited by the Central Intelligence Agency for whom he worked for the following 22 years. While rooted in Fairfax and Alexandria, Ben was also stationed in Holland, Thailand and Vietnam.

In 1972 Ben retired to devote himself to his two passions of fly-fishing and enjoying close friendships among the Princeton Class of 1940. His classmates elected him Class Secretary from 1975 and 2001 and bestowed the special honor of establishing a class scholarship fund in his name in 2000.

In 1995 Ben and his wife Roberta relocated to New England and two years later he joined his daughter and her family in Sherborn. During his seven years in Sherborn, Ben, self promoted as 'Old Goat' befriended the entire community especially appreciating and being appreciated by those under 21. He was an avid booster of Dover/ Sherborn hockey and football and a special friend to all four legged creatures.

Ben was predeceased by his wife, Roberta, and three siblings, Horace, Henry and Anne and is survived by his brother, Robert, of Westwood, his son, Ben, and daughter-in-law, Leslie, of Cushing, Maine; his daughter, Ridgely, son-in law, Brad, and beloved grandsons, Nicholas and Benjamin of Waltham, Mass. Burial with military honors will be at the Arlington National Cemetery on Monday, June 15, 2009 at 1 p.m..

Gifts in his memory may be addressed to the Trustees of Princeton University for Benjamin A.G. Fuller II Class of 1940 Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 357, Princeton, New Jersey, 08543.