Benjamin Ellsworth Rollins, 85, died peacefully in Laconia on Saturday, September 25, 2021 after a lengthy period of declining health.
Ben was born at home in New Hampton on August 13, 1936 to parents Henry A. and
Ida A. (McMurphy) Rollins. He attended the one room schoolhouse on Dana Hill for his elementary education, graduating from Ashland High School, class of 1956.
After High School he went to work in the Ashland Paper Mills where he met his wife of 59 years, Eleanor Merrill Rollins. They resided in Ashland for 26 years. In 1988 they moved back to New Hampton across from his childhood home.
He was employed for 40 years as a machine operator at L.W. Packard in Ashland from where he retired. Ben was also a caretaker for several prominent families around Squam Lake starting at the age of 12.
Ben was a lifelong avid fisherman and hunter. He always said the best spring tonic was a freshly caught brook trout and a mess of dandelion greens. He grew vegetables and flowers in his gardens and enjoyed sharing the bounty with friends and family.
He loved attending yard sales to find treasures in the rough and holding big family yard sales “wheeling and dealing”. He was the kind of guy that talked to everyone and always made a friend wherever he went.
Ben was well known in the area for his fine furniture restoration. People sought him out from miles around to work on their antique furniture pieces. He also enjoyed building smaller useful pieces of furniture to sell and give to family. He loved going on “ridge runs” in his ’66 Chevy pickup truck and entering it at local cars shows where he won ribbons and prizes for his restoration work.
He was predeceased by his parents and older brother James Rollins. In addition to his wife Eleanor, he leaves behind his daughter Lisa Rollins (Ray Mason), his granddaughter Lori Bluhm, and a great-granddaughter Emma Bluhm all of Ashland. And his much-loved kitty, Annie. Our “Papa” will be greatly missed.
He is also survived by his two sisters Priscilla Stockbridge of Naples, Florida and Victoria (Edward) Merrill of Ashland. He has many sisters and brothers in law along with numerous nieces, nephews, great nieces, and great nephews whom he loved and adored.
Many thanks to the staff on the Winnisquam unit at Genesis – Laconia Center for the love, care and kindness you have all shown him and the support given to his family this past year and half.
Graveside services will be held at 11 AM, Saturday, October 16, 2021 at Blair Cemetery, in Campton. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the NH Humane Society, PO Box 572, Laconia, NH 03247. Dupuis Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
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