Obituary – Rev. Benjamin O. Pfeil
Rev. Benjamin O. Pfeil, resident of Madison, FL, a native of Catskill, NY, passed away November 10, 2012, at the Madison County Memorial Hospital. He was 88.
Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, November 14, at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, 140 NE Horry Avenue, Madison, FL . Graveside services will follow at Ebenezer Cemetery in the Hamburg Community of Madison County. The family will receive friends from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday evening at Beggs Funeral Home, 235 NW Orange Avenue, Madison, FL.
Rev. Pfeil was born in Cementon, NY, and grew up in Catskill, NY, the oldest of four children born to the late Benjamin and Anna Doyle Pfeil. He was a graduate of Catskill High School. After graduation he volunteered for enlistment in the US Navy in May 1942. While serving his country during WW II, he was a flight engineer for the B26 and PBY aircraft flying missions at Pearl Harbor, Guadalcanal, and Guam. During his years in the military, he was also stationed at the NAS, Jacksonville, FL; NAS Corpus Christy TX; NAAS at Shelton, WA; and NAS at Pensacola. While stationed at NAS Jacksonville he met Mary Jane Smith of Madison , FL, and they were wed November 19, 1944. He was honorably discharged in March, 1948.
After Rev. Pfeil’s tour of duty in the Navy, he, his wife, and infant son, Bill, moved to Madison where he was employed with Fraleigh Ashley Tractor Company and Western Auto. In the early 1950’s he started his own television sales and repair business known as Ben’s TV. He retired from this occupation in the late 1980’s.
While growing up in New York, Rev. Pfeil was active in the Boy Scouts and achieved the rank of Eagle Scout. After moving to Madison, his interest in this work continued, and he became a scout master for Madison serving as a positive role model for the many members of his troop.
At a young age, while attending worship services at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Catskill, Rev. Pfeil felt God calling him into the ministry. His desire to become an Episcopal priest was not fulfilled until many years later. Finally, in 1992, he was ordained and became priest of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church where he faithfully served as vicar until his health failed in early 2012. Father Ben, as he was affectionately called by his parishioners, was always so happy to welcome new members into the church. Among those whom he baptized were his great-grandson, Cole Pfeil, and great niece, Taylor Smith. At the time of his death, he was the longest serving vicar of St. Mary’s Church and its oldest member.
Rev. Pfeil was preceded in death by his wife of 58 years, Mary Jane; his father and mother, Benjamin James and Anna Doyle Pfeil; and one brother, Ralph Pfeil. Surviving relatives include his son and daughter-in-law, Bill and Mary Lu Pfeil of Madison; one grandson and granddaughter-in-law, Jake and Cheryl Pfeil of Tallahassee; one great grandson, Cole Pfeil of Tallahassee; one sister and brother-in-law, Joyce and Truman June of Catskill; one brother and sister-in-law, Mahlon and Gayle Pfeil of Saugerties; three sisters-in-law, Elizabeth Davis and her husband Shelton of Perry; Catherine Hodges of Madison; Johnnie Ruth Smith of Live Oak; and a host of loving nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Mary’s Episcopal Church or The Wounded Warrior Project.