Benjamin Randall Duce, 79

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Westborough – Benjamin Randall Duce, 79, of Westborough, died with his family at his side Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2012, after a brief illness. He was bornMay 18, 1933 in Brunswick, Maine, and was the son of the late Dr. H. Benjamin Duce and Elizabeth (Randall) Duce.

Ben is survived by his wife of 56 years, Diane (Stowell) Duce. In addition to his wife, he is survived by two daughters, Elizabeth Sedlins and her husband, John, of Lovettsville, Va. and Cynthia Cote and her husband, Dennis, of Sutton, and one son, Jonathan and his wife, Linda, of Waltham. He is also survived by six grandchildren and one sister, Ann Swift of Hebron, Maine.

He was a graduate of Lincoln Academy in Newcastle, Maine and received a BA (biology) from Colby College in Waterville, Maine in 1954. Later that same year, he enlisted in the U.S. Army during the Korean conflict and was honorably discharged in 1957. He was employed for more than 20 years at Astra Pharmaceutical as a research scientist. While there, he conducted numerous clinical trials, co-authored publications in scientific journals, and registered two patents related to his field. Later he worked at Serono Pharmaceutical and registered another patent. During his career, he and his family lived in Molndal, Sweden from 1965-1967.

Ben was a lifelong animal lover and founded a home-based pet care business called Companion Associates after his retirement. He was an avid reader and was active in a number of clubs, including the Northboro Players Group, the Westborough Civic Club, the American Legion, where he served as Deputy Chaplain, and the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War Willie Grout Camp #25, where he served as Camp Commander, Camp Historian and Chaplain.

A man of deep personal faith, he served as Treasurer and Junior Warden at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Hopkinton. For several years, he volunteered at the Massachusetts Department of Mental Retardation. In 1995, the Department awarded him with its distinguished achievement award. He also looked forward to attending the Colby Alumni College each summer with his wife.

He had many interests, including nature, gardening, and playing the piano by ear. He was a master of the English language with a great sense of humor, and often included a quote from Shakespeare or Gertrude Stein in a conversation. He delighted his grandchildren by creating treasure hunts, stories, and games on demand.

Visiting hours will be Friday, Aug. 24, from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m., at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 61 Wood St., Hopkinton. A memorial service will be held Saturday, Aug. 25, at 10:30 a.m., at the church. A private interment will be held in Pine Grove Cemetery in Westborough.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to St. Paul's Episcopal Church, P.O. Box 165, Hopkinton, MA 01748 or Stowell Parker Post, American Legion, c/o Commander Nancy Friis-Hansen, 16 Adams St., Westborough, MA 01581.