Connecticut Audbon Society

Benjamin D. Williams III: 1936-2023

March 28, 2023 — Our friend and long-time Board member Ben Williams died on March 7, 2023. Knowledgeable, affable, and dedicated to conservation, Ben served on Connecticut Audubon’s Pomfret regional board for 16 years and on the state Board of Directors for 10.

Ben led the campaign to raise funds for the new center building in Pomfret. He worked on the Bafflin preserve’s trails, which he knew well. He provided advice, leadership, and friendship to the Connecticut Audubon staff.

As part of the Center at Pomfret’s Science in Nature school programs, he introduced thousands of kids to the wonders of nature and insects in particular.  His booming voice and passion for the subject matter won him great respect and admiration.

His family published a complete and fitting obituary, which you can read here.

Not long ago, we featured Ben in one of our newsletters. It’s a simple sketch of one part of life that was important to him


Ben Williams: “A way to conserve what you believe in”

If you live for five decades in one place, it’s inevitable that you’ll see changes. In Ben Williams’s case, those 50-plus years have been in Pomfret and the changes have been impossible to ignore.

Species that were common are gone. Species that weren’t there are common. It’s rare to see a monarch butterfly. Black Vultures and Eastern Bluebirds are now easy to spot.

“The change in biodiversity here in Pomfret in the last 30 years in particular is extraordinary,” Ben says.

Concern about those changes – forestalling the negative, protecting and improving the positive – are one reason Ben became a charter member of Connecticut Audubon’s Mabel Osgood Wright Society, the legacy gift program named after our founder.

Another is that when he settled in Pomfret in 1962, he found a place that was remarkably beautiful. Despite the changes, it still is. 

“I want the world as I know it and love it now to be available for younger generations, and that’s a tall order these days,” he says. “The best we can do it, if we have the means to do it, is to support that which we care about.”

A retired headmaster of Lawrence Academy and Worcester Academy, both in Massachusetts, Ben has been involved in Connecticut Audubon since the Center at Pomfret and the adjacent 700-acre Bafflin Sanctuary were founded, in 1994. His home is literally surrounded by the sanctuary. He has been a member of Connecticut Audubon’s Board of Directors since 1999.

As a headmaster, he educated generations. Even now, as a first-rate amateur lepidopterist, he leads walks through the sanctuary and teaches in the summer camp. Being a member of the Mabel Osgood Wright Society is a small part of his extraordinary legacy.

“It’s a way to protect or conserve the continuation of what you believe in after you’re gone,” he says.

(A celebration of Ben’s life will be held on August 27, 2023, at the Center at Pomfret. Donations may be made in Ben’s memory to the Center at Pomfret, at PO Box 11 Pomfret Center, CT 06259, or Wyndham Land Trust, PO Box 302, Pomfret Center, CT 06259.)






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