BENJAMIN H. DANSKIN, 87, of WALL, passed away April 25, 2013, at Sunnyside Manor in Manasquan. Born and raised in Spring Lake, NJ, he was the son of the late Benjamin S. Danskin and Nora Elizabeth Jackson Danskin.
Mr. Danskin was the husband of the late Betty Joan Slockbower Danskin, of Wall. He was also predeceased by his brother James Clyde Danskin, sister-in-law Helen G. Danskin, and son-in-law Paul L. Stevens.
Ben Danskin was a key figure in government service, public advocacy, business development, and Republican politics in Monmouth County, New Jersey, for more than 57 years. He was appreciated for his dedication to and love of his community, respected for decisive leadership, relied upon for his business savvy, and revered for his political acumen and absolute integrity. His gregarious character impacted everyone he encountered.
Mr. Danskin's business career culminated in 50 years of successful management of the Danskin Agency. Ben, who, along with his brother Clyde, the Agency's workhorse, succeeded their father, the late Benjamin S. Danskin, in the operation of the family business. Ben was the co-founder of two local banks – Allaire State Bank in the 1970s and Allaire Community Bank in the mid-1990s. He applied hard work and good sense to every business field he pursued - real estate, insurance, banking, and a travel agency.
Ben Danskin was elected to the Wall Township Committee in 1955, where he served two terms. He held the distinction of being the youngest Mayor in the history of the Township, and one of the youngest Mayors in the State. During his tenure on the Township Committee, Mr. Danskin was instrumental in bringing city water to Wall Township.
In 1962 Mr. Danskin was elected to the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders, where he served as Director of Public Property. In this capacity, he supervised the planning and construction of the Court House addition in Freehold, the construction of the Eastern Branch of the Monmouth County Library in Shrewsbury, the planning and supervision of the new County Jail in Freehold Township, the preparation of plans for the construction of the Monmouth County Juvenile Detention Center in Freehold Township and updating and remodeling of areas of the Hall of Records, the hub of county government in Freehold. The initial phases of the establishment of Brookdale Community College in Lincroft were instituted while Ben was a Freeholder.
As an advocate of long-range open space and conservation development, Ben supervised the expansion of facilities and programs of the Monmouth County Department of Parks and Recreation, now recognized as one of the most progressive on the East Coast.
Ben Danskin graduated from Asbury Park High School and immediately upon graduation joined the Army Air Corps. During World War II he served in the Army as an Officer and trained as a B-25 bombadier navigator. After the war, he graduated from Dickinson College with a degree in political science.
An avid golfer, Ben was more than a 50 year member of Spring Lake Golf Club. He participated in field trials with English pointers and hunted but rarely returned with any game. He loved his boats, fishing and crabbing. He cherished the time he spent flying his single engine aircraft. Ben owned properties in Vero Beach, Florida and Chestertown, Maryland and spent time enjoying both locations.
Ben always conducted business over a meal. He knew every restaurant up and down the East Coast and enjoyed taking business colleagues, friends and family out to eat. A lifelong resident of the Shore, he enjoyed early morning walks on the Spring Lake boards with his beloved dog, Mandy, and trips to the Manasquan Inlet to watch the boats.
Mr. Danskin is survived by his three daughters: Cathy D. Stevens, of Doylestown, PA; Nancy Russell of Ithaca, NY and her husband Larry; and Barbara Kimbrough of Wall. He is also survived by grandchildren Emily Russell-Smalls, Todd B. Stevens, Jared M. Kimbrough, and Laura Stevens Kent; and great-grandchildren Autumn Kimbrough, Wylie Smalls, Elizabeth Stevens Kent, and Benjamin Stevens Kent.
Friends may call from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday at Neary-Quinn Funeral Home, 39 South St., Manasquan. A memorial service will be held at 11AM, Monday, April 29th, St. Andrew's United Methodist Church, 907 4th Avenue in Spring Lake. In lieu of flowers contributions can be made to St. Andrew's United Methodist Church Endowment Fund. Private burial will be for family members only . Letters of condolence may be sent to the family at 56 Sandywood Drive, Doylestown, PA 18901 or at www.neary-quinnfuneralhome.com