Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Benjamin Wellington Ayotte

RACINE, Wis. - Benjamin Wellington Ayotte, age 93, passed away Feb. 1, 2018, after a full life, well lived.

Ben was born in Watersmeet Township, Mich., to Charles and Gladys (Codd) Ayotte.

Ben attended Watersmeet High School and at 14 began driving logging trucks. He left school in the tenth grade to drive logging trucks full-time from the Porcupine Mountains to the sawmill in Watersmeet.

Ben entered the U.S. Army on March 7, 1943, and was inducted at Camp McCoy. He was a member of Company C 672nd Amphibian Tractor Battalion, where he served in the South Pacific under General MacArthur. His squadron was with General MacArthur when MacArthur retook the Philippines. He was discharged on Jan. 5, 1946, the day after his 21st birthday.

Ben married Georgia Marie Langren in Bessemer, Mich.. on May 25, 1946.

After his service, Ben was employed as a semi truck driver, hauling logs and pulp. He also was a heavy equipment operator, and served as Justice of the Peace in Watersmeet, Mich.

Ben was a small business owner in many services throughout the years. In 1957, he began his career at the White Pine Copper Mine as a driller-blaster. He retired on April 1, 1985, as a shift superintendent when the mine closed. Ben also was owner and operator of his own excavating business in Ewen, Mich.

Benjamin, also known by most as Papa or Uncle Ben, loved to hunt and loved baseball. He was an avid Milwaukee Braves and then Atlanta Braves fan, playing catcher himself in exhibition baseball in the Pacific Theater during World War II. Ben was a great storyteller and had a personality that was infectious. He knew how to make those around him smile. He loved people, especially caring for the children in his life.

Ben is survived by his wife, Georgia, and daughters, Judith (Howard) Fors, and Marla D. Ayotte, grandchildren, Heidi (Ron) Ward and Tim Fors, great grandchildren, Jonathan (Kathleen) Otto, Benjamin (Michaela) Otto, Jacob (Stefani) Fors and Eli Fors, and great-great grandchildren, Brennan Otto, Parker Otto and Haley Fors. Ben's brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Parnell and Arnoldine Basanese, held a special place in his heart. Ben has many beloved nieces and nephews, all across the country.

Ben was preceded in death by his parents, brothers, Charles, Keith and James, sister, Priscilla June (Joe) Funk and three infant daughters.

A memorial service is pending for spring 2018.

The family would like to thank both the current and former staff at Ridgewood Care Center in Racine for their kindness, compassion and love.

Online guestbook at

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