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Benjamin (Ben) F. Thurston Sr., 93, of Sarasota, Fla., a native of King and Queen County, Va., died peacefully at home on Feb. 1, 2015.

He is survived by his beloved wife, Pat; daughters, Ginny Chadwick (Jon) and Cathi Lynn (Ed), all of Sarasota, Fla.; five grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his son, Benjamin F. Thurston Jr.

Ben was born on the Dragon Run in King and Queen County to Batchelor and Louisa Thurston. He served in the U.S. Navy, and then moved to Woodbury, N.J., where he opened his first appliance store. He moved to Sarasota in 1956 and opened several stores in the area. He was an active real estate agent well into his 80s. 

He loved hunting, gardening, boating, skiing, and most of all, managing a Little League baseball team for over 30 years. He loved “his boys” like his own children, and never forgot them. Taking his team to the World Series in Williamsport, Pa., was a major highlight of his life.

Despite many health issues resulting from a stroke at age 80, he remained upbeat and positive, and a joy to be around. He loved people, and no one was a stranger to him.

A funeral service and burial will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 7 at New Hope Memorial Baptist Church, 15603 New Hope Road, Shacklefords, Va. 23156.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to New Hope Memorial Baptist Church.

Vincent Funeral Home is handling arrangements. Tributes can be posted at