Benjamin Franklin Carson
February 23, 1923 – March 22, 2020
Benjamin Franklin Carson, 97, of Beaverton Oregon, passed away on March 22, 2020. He is survived by his wife, Helen, his son Jerry and wife Paula, daughter-in-law Julie, five grandchildren and four great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his son, Dennis.
Ben was born in Henderson, Minnesota on 2/23/23 and stayed on the family farm until he was 18. When Pearl Harbor was attacked, he joined the Marine Corps where he earned a spot with Carlson's Raiders. He fought in five major battles: Midway, Makin, Bougainville, Guadalcanal, and Iwo Jima. He was part of the initial group in to occupy Japan and after spending 39 months overseas, came back to Minnesota and married his sweetheart, Helen on May 5th. They were married 75 years.
In 1952, Ben joined the Federal Forest Service. He moved around the country, starting with Iowa State where he attended college. Minnesota, Louisiana, Georgia, Alabama, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Alaska, California, Washington D.C. and Oregon were all places Ben and Helen called home. They retired to a small farm, aptly named the DunRoamin Ranch, in Oregon where they grew filberts and kiwi. The farm was started with family at the center. The yearly harvests helped to fund the grandkid's education and truly became a multigenerational venture. The family also worked with Washington County's Agritourism Program to promote agricultural education. Ben's love for agriculture gave him the opportunity to serve overseas again, but this time with the State Department. He made two trips, one to the Republic of Georgia and Azerbaijan and another to Uzbekistan and Turkey to help them cultivate kiwi vines.
Ben served as a court mediator for Washington County Courts for many years and was active in the county’s “English as a Second Language” program. He also volunteered at a local high school that sponsored a Veteran’s Historical Program. He would spend an entire day answering questions from curious high school students, relating stories about his wartime experiences. Along with this, Ben was interviewed by multiple WWII historians and even wrote some manuscripts of his own - documenting his life growing up in the Great Depression and his time in WWII.
Later in life, Ben's focus turned back to the Marine Corps. He became the primary force behind the recovery of nine marines left on Makin Island. He worked with Louis Zamperini and traveled back to Quadralene Island to observe the recovery. A documentary titled "Execution Island" cataloged their journey.
He was a wonderful man, truly one of the “Greatest Generation,” who will be dearly missed.
No services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Benjamin Franklin Carson
April 7, 2020
So sorry for your loss. Another one of the greatest generation off to his final post.
My dad was with the 5th Marine Division
and landed on Iwo Jima 6th wave red beach 2. He passed away 12/27/2015
Rest In Peace Marine. Semper Fi
April 6, 2020
Sending condolences from the family of Bernie E. Peterson, who served with Carlson's Raiders, also. My father served in the battles at Makin and Guadalcanal, and only missed Iwo Jima due to his 3rd case of Malaria. God Bless Mr. Carson, your family and the Marine Raiders.
April 6, 2020
Rest in Peace, Raider Carson. Thank you for your service to the Corps and our great country. To Helen and family, you have our deepest condolences and support. God bless you all from the Marine Raider Association. Semper Fidelis and Gung Ho!
April 1, 2020
I knew Ben through the Marine Corps League. We talked about his experience with the Raiders in WW II. He talked about foreign trips to help others with agriculture. A wonderful man - a man who truly helped make America the great country it is. Now he can put his uniform back on and guard the gates of Heaven. Semper Fi, my friend.
March 26, 2020
Dear Miss Helen, I am so sorry for your loss. I will keep you and your family in my prayers.
I have attached a picture of Ben and I from a special moment. This was taken on Kwajalein Atoll, November 11, 2003. Just moments after the dedication ceremony ended and everyone left, Ben and I took a moment to reflect on the journey we took together. We spent 11 years getting this memorial, for the captured and later executed Makin Marine Raiders, on the ground and dedicated. We had some frustrating and great moments together. He will be missed.