SFC Benny Michael "Ben" Sofka, U.S. Army, Ret.
SFC Benny Michael “Ben” Sofka, US Army Ret., the keeper of the Boston Post Cane as Maynard’s oldest resident, died peacefully Saturday evening, March 10, 2018 at home with his family by his side. He was 101.
Born at home at 1 Railroad Street in Maynard, Ben was one of five children of the late Michael and Stephanie (Waluck) Sofka. A graduate of Maynard High School Class of 1934, he managed the People’s Theatre before volunteering to join the US Army Air Corps in 1940. He served honorably with the 557th Bombardment Squadron as an engineer and turret gunner in B-26 Marauders in Germany, the Ardennes and Central Europe during WWII.
In November 1946 he married Catherine J.M. (Dolmans) Sofka, a native of The Netherlands, at St. Casimir’s Church in Maynard. He continued his military career with the US Army serving worldwide for 20 years including stations in Brooklyn, NY where he served as a military escort for soldiers repatriated to the US for interment, Panama, Ft. Niagara, NY, Taiwan and North Carolina, and during the Korean and Vietnam War Eras. His awards include the Air Medal and two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Army Commendation Medal, Good Conduct Medal-6th Award, The American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with three bronze service stars, The WWII Victory Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Honorable Service Lapel Button WWII, Expert Badge with Field Artillery Bar, and Marksman Badge with Carbine Bar and Pistol Bar, and Expert 155MM How SP, seven Letters of Commendation and Certificate of Achievement.
Upon retirement from the military 1963, Ben and his family settled in his hometown of Maynard. Employed at Natick Labs and later Digital Equipment Corporation, he was an active member of the B-26 Historical Society, American Legion Post #235, the Maynard Knights of Columbus Council #2121 and the Massachusetts 4th Degree Edward F. McSweeney Assembly #400, and the Maynard Historical Society. A former longtime member of St. Casimir’s Church, he was a member of St. Bridget’s Parish in Maynard. He and his wife enjoyed attending various military reunions and loved to travel worldwide on trips and cruises, and only needed to visit Russia to complete their travel around circumference of the globe. Ben enjoyed bowling, swimming at the Fairbanks Pool in Sudbury, and was a member of Anytime Fitness in Maynard where in later years he exercised on a weekly basis. A member of the “Greatest Generation,” he will be dearly missed by all.
He is survived by his wife of 71 years, Catherine J.M. (Dolmans) Sofka; their three children: Sr. Rita Sofka, Sisters of Life, of Washington, D.C., Richard Sofka and wife Eileen Crowley Sofka of Maynard, and Roberta Dougherty and husband David of Litchfield, CT; five grandchildren, Jacqueline Edwards, and Matthew, Katharine, Luke and Ben Dougherty; and several nieces, nephews, in-laws and their families. In addition to his parents, he is predeceased by two brothers, Waslof “Woody” Sofka and Stanley Sofka; and two sisters, Josephine Washburn and Helen Bigusiak.
Visiting hours are Thursday, March 15th from 5:00-8:00pm at the Acton Funeral Home, 470 Massachusetts Ave (Rt 111) Acton. The funeral Mass will be celebrated Friday, March 16th at 10:00am in St. Bridget’s Church, 1 Percival Street, Maynard. Burial with military honors will follow in St. Bridget’s Cemetery, Great Road (Rt 117) Maynard. Those who wish may make memorial gifts to Care Dimensions (Hospice), 333 Wyman Street, Waltham, MA 02451. Please visit the memorial page at www.actonfuneralhome.com
To enjoy the slideshow of photos, please select the "Memories" tab to the left, then "Photographic Memories."
To view Ben being recognized as he celebrated his 100th birthday at Fenway Park, please visit the following link from Major League Baseball: