Benjamin Knight Burnham

Benjamin Knight Burnham, 90, of Merrimack, NH and formerly of Gardner, MA died peacefully Friday, April 3, 2015 at Southern NH Medical Center in Nashua, NH surrounded by his loving family.

He was born in Gardner, MA on Feb. 16, 1925, a son of the late Philip S. and Emma L. (Knight) Burnham.

At age 17, he voluntarily enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served his country in the South Pacific on the aircraft carrier USS Sangamon during WWII.

In 1952, he married the love of his life, Jane H. (Stuart) Burnham, and they had six children.

After the war, he returned to Gardner and worked for a brief time with his father at Burnham Battery and then Tipton Buick. For many years, he worked as a juvenile furniture designer and was the inventor on several patents for his unique designs. He was employed with Kuniholm, Thayer, Hedstrom and Gem furniture companies.

Ben was a strong, stubborn and intelligent man and a staunch Republican all his life. He was a devoted family man, a wonderful husband and father, and was always there for his family.

He loved Pinot Grigio at happy hour, chocolate ice cream and oysters, watching the History Channel, Jeopardy, and baseball games. He enjoyed taking long drives with his wife looking for June pinks and the best lobster rolls in Maine. Many family vacations were spent at Lake Winnipesaukee, which he loved and which his family still loves.

Members of his family include his wife of 62 years, Jane; four daughters, Sally Shackford and her husband Lew of Merrimack, NH, Nancy Ellison of Swansea, MA, Judy Clifford and her husband David of Bethel, ME and Bonnie Burnham of Merrimack, NH; two sons, Benjamin Burnham of Provincetown, MA and Steven Burnham of Nashua, NH; five grandchildren, Nicole Miller, Liana and Mallory Shackford, Elizabeth Baron and her husband Art, and Matthew Sullivan; and a great-grandson, Stetson Miller. He was predeceased by his brother, Philip, and his sister, Jane.

Calling hours were in the Rivet Funeral Home, 425 Daniel Webster Hwy, Merrimack, NH Tuesday Apr. 7, 2015 from 6-8 PM. A funeral service was held in the funeral home chapel on Wed at 4 PM. Afterwards, all were invited to join the family for refreshment and remembrance. Burial will be private and at a later date in Greenlawn Cemetery in Baldwinville, MA.

Those who wish may make memorial contributions to the VA Medical Center, Manchester, NH.

For more info or to sign an online guest book, go to rivetfuneralhome.com.