In Loving Memory of...

Pearl Harbor Survivor

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Benjamin M. Lea

July 9, 1920 - February 16, 2001

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Pearl Harbor Survivor, Benjamin M. Lea,R.M.D.,* was in the Army and stationed at Schofield Barracks, on the morning of December 7, 1941. Sergeant Lea, a medic, served under Commanding Officer, Captain David M. Perkins, Battery 13, Field Artillery, U.S. Army.

Ben Lea was born to Benjamin H. Lea and Lenora (Perry) Lea on July 9, 1920, in Vallecitos, NM. He married Celestina "Sally" Jaramillo, of El Rito, NM on November 6, 1944, who predeceased him April 8, 1999. Ben and Sally have four children: David Lea, of Bend, OR; Judy Bosteter, of Eugene, OR; Janet Burch, of Eugene, OR; and Tim Lea, of Junction City, OR. and have eleven grandchildren, and fourteen great-grandchildren.

Ben was the eldest of 12 children. He is survived by his four children and eight of his brothers and sisters: Betty of Snyder, TX; Lora Shockey of Alamosa, CO; Helen Espinoza of Tooele, UT; Barbara Bradley of Granite Bay, CA; Walter Lea, of Fairview, NM; Shirley Thompson of Springfield, OR.; Tom Lea of Myrtle Point, OR; Jerry Lea of Myrtle Point, OR; Ben's deceased siblings were: Two sisters, Pat Moon and Benora Newkirk; and a brother, James Lea.

He worked in the logging industry, working in the woods as a timber faller most of his life until just before he retired, when he "switched hats" and assumed the duties of the Safety Engineer for Bohemia Lumber Company, Eugene, OR.

In addition, he was an active member in the Cottage Grove Chapter of the Disabled American Veterans' Association, holding every position the organization had available during his life-long membership. He got great satisfaction from helping fellow Veterans and their wives and families with everything from food when they were down on their luck, to financial and legal information needed to secure benefits or upgrade their pensions. He also transported Veterans to the VA Hospital on weekends, and ran monthly bingo games for the patients, securing prizes from local merchants and making sure that everyone who played "won" something before the event was over. Sally would always send along cupcakes as a special treat for everyone.

He was greatly loved and admired in his community for the many charitable and humanitarian efforts he performed. We will all miss him greatly.

He was able to remain living in his own home in Cottage Grove, OR, up until the time of his death from heart disease on February 16, 2001.

Thank you for visiting. Information and material for this page was compiled and submitted by Janet Burch, daughter of Sgt. Lea. Other items may be added as feasible. You're invited to check back for updates to this page.

*Note: Sgt. Lea's family is not sure what the R.M.D. stands for. If you know the answer, please e-mail the PHS webmaster.   Doris Newnam. I will share the information with the family. Or you may e-mail Janet at: Janet Burch Thank you for your help.

Janet has submitted the following photos in memory of her father. These photos were taken at his memorial service. Because being a Pearl Harbor Survivor was one of the things he was most proud of in life, although he carried a life long wound - both physically and emotionally - suffered during the attack, his family chose to honor him by highlighting his experiences and memories of Pearl Harbor

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Memorial Photos, February 16, 2001



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