Benjamin Richard Dadd, Jr. was born in Newark, NJ, to parents Thelma and Benjamin Dadd. He earned his BA from Monmouth University, where he played soccer for the Hawks, and lovingly pledged with Phi Delta Sigma. He spent his summers lifeguarding on the Jersey Shore. Shortly after graduating from Monmouth, he joined the US Marine Corps, earning a Bronze Star for his actions during combat in the Vietnam War. He continued to serve in the Marine Corps Reserves, retiring with the rank of Colonel and earned his MA from the University of Bridgeport. Many of his fraternity, and the men he served with, became lifelong friends.
On August 23, 1969, he married the love of his life, Geraldine Dadd. Together they raised two daughters, Lori and Kathleen (Kat). Ben and Gerri moved the family to Stafford, VA, where Ben commuted daily to Washington, DC, for his career with the Internal Revenue Service, where he, once again, formed lasting relationships with his co-workers.
After retiring from the IRS, Gerri and he were able to fulfill their lifelong dream of living in Emerald Isle, North Carolina, the place where the family vacationed all of their lives. In Emerald Isle, Ben worked with local organizations writing grants for underprivileged schools, volunteered with EMS, and joined the beach patrol. When his wife passed away on November 8, 2005, he continued to live on the island as long as he was able. Eventually, in 2016, he moved to Amelia Island, Florida, where he spent his remaining years with his loving caregiver and best friend, Jeanie.
Ben always found the time to chat with anyone and made them feel important. He was a devoted Catholic, a NY Giants fan, and a kind, caring, generous man. He enjoyed running marathons, riding his bike, walking along the beach, and being with friends and family. He will be missed by many, but he is now able to be with Gerri and God. In the words of one of Ben’s favorite quotes, “Carpe Diem.”
He is survived by his daughters; granddaughters (Nicole and Jackie); brother (Ken). He is predeceased by his wife, parents, and brother (Michael).
A mass service will be held on June 25th at 10am at St. Mildred’s Catholic Church in Swansboro, NC, with a military ceremony at Seaside Memorial Park to follow. In lieu of flowers, please send a donation to one of Ben’s favorite programs that brought him joy, Toys for Tots.