Best on the Shoreline!
It's time to nominate your favorites for the 2021 Best on the Shoreline Awards!
Benedict Paul “Ben” LaTorre of Madison passed with dignity and strength in the comfort of his family and his home on Jan. 26.
Born Aug. 24, 1940, in Methuen, Massachusetts, to a loving young couple, Josephine “Jo” LaPira and her husband Pasqualino E. LaTorre. Serving in World War II, Pasqualino gave his life for his country in Normandy when Ben was just a toddler. Jo found love again and married Henry Bettencourt, and together they raised Ben.
Ben graduated from the University of Connecticut and married his high school sweetheart, Ellie Lanza. Born only 48 hours apart and married for nearly six decades, they were made for one another. They raised their four children and opened their own business, ABM Business systems in Guilford. The business remains in the family 50 years later.
Ben celebrated life and all it offered. He and Ellie traveled widely, with Italy holding a particularly warm spot. He delighted in speaking Italian that he learned from his grandmother, mother, and aunts. He crafted award-winning wine and enjoyed the camaraderie of golf. He made friends easily and fed them often, for what he relished most was the company of family and his many friends. There was invariably room for more at his table and always just one more story for him to tell. He managed to celebrate nostalgia while always living in the moment. He whistled often and forever carried a song in his heart. His most beloved title was “Papa” and he indulged his 10 adoring grandchildren who thrived in his love.
Ben is survived by Ellie and their four children, Benedict LaTorre, Jr. (Jean), Lynne Laberge, Richard LaTorre (Lianne), and Lauren Osterling (Kyle) and grandchildren Casey, John, and Luke LaTorre; Maslin and Marly Laberge; Bella and Livi LaTorre; and Nicholas and Leah Osterling. He is also survived by his brother and his wife, Henry and Terri Bettencourt; sister-in-law Ginny Palios; nieces; nephews; and cousins. He was predeceased by his precious granddaughter, Mia Francesca Laberge, and his sister Valerie Bettencourt.
Ben’s life was celebrated in a Mass at St. Margaret’s Roman Catholic Church in Madison on Jan. 30. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Ben’s name to the Gary Sinese Foundation, which honors our defenders—veterans, first responders, and their families—at www.garysinisefoundation.org.