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Ben Waterman

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Benjamin F. Waterman died at his home in Xenia on Jan. 19. He was 87.

He was born Nov. 12, 1921, in Lynn, Mass., to the late Frank L. and Pauline E. Waterman. He graduated from Lynn Classical High School and soon after served in the U.S. Air Force during World War II and was honorably discharged in 1945. Following his military service, Ben enrolled at Wilberforce College.

In 1947 he attended Central State College where he earned a bachelors in health, physical education and recreation in 1949. While attending both colleges, he was a three-sport star in football, basketball and baseball. After graduation he continued to play on many of the top amateur teams in the area. He was also assistant basketball and baseball coach under Erwin “Gabby” Gibbs and “Uncle Sapp” Lane. Coach Waterman was the first African-American inducted into the Miami Valley Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame.

Anyone who knows basketball around Ohio knew Ben Waterman. Coach Waterman was one of the most successful coaches in this area and a man of many firsts. He added much more than just experience to any staff on any level of coaching. During his tenure as assistant basketball coach for the men’s basketball team at Central State University, he was chosen to start a men and women’s golf program at CSU. Along with his added responsibilities, Coach Waterman continued to work with the men’s basketball program. In recognition of his athletic excellence, Coach Waterman was inducted into the CSU Hall of Fame with its inaugural class. For the past eight years, CSU has honored him by naming the annual basketball tournament after him. He was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. One of Ben Waterman’s favorite quotes was, “Don’t give up the baseline.”

He was preceded in death by his wife of 49 years, Dorothy W. Waterman; his sisters, Nancy Clemons and Carol Bowie; and his brothers, Frank L. and Russell E. Waterman.

He is survived by his children and their partners, Mitchell A. and Julie Waterman, Jill C. Waterman-McKinney and Marvin McKinney, and Andrea Cobbs-Waterman, formerly of Yellow Springs; five grandchildren, Taylor M. Davis, Devon M. Waterman, Meghan A. Waterman, Makayla A. Waterman, Marvin B. McKinney; one great-granddaughter, Rayven N. Glass; two cousins, Althea Flamer and Celeste Flamer-Jayes; and a host of nieces and nephews.

Services for Benjamin were held on Monday, Jan. 26.


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