SOUTH PORTLAND — Edward Benjamin “Ben” Clark Lukens, 78, a passionate traveler and raconteur, and a resident of South Portland died May 26, 2013, of heart failure at Sedgewood Commons Nursing Home, Falmouth. Ben was born July 26, 1934, in Chestnut Hill, Pa., the son of Lorraine and Lewis Lukens.
After attending Chestnut Hill Academy and Phillips Exeter Academy, N.H., Ben attended Princeton University, where he studied American history and was a member of the Cottage Club, graduating in 1956. He also served as a member of the First Troop Philadelphia City Cavalry and the Pennsylvania National Guard. After graduation, he worked for J. P. Morgan Bank in Paris, where his responsibilities included helping special clients during their European vacations. He got to know the hidden gems of the city: bistros, theaters, walks — and shared a drink at Harry’s Bar with Ernest Hemingway. (Rather than fawn over the famous writer, Ben mentioned that he’d been a student at Princeton of one of Hemingway’s fiercest critics — upon hearing this, Hemingway invited Ben to pull up a chair.) Later in life, he moved to Portland, home of Disston and Denton cousins, and worked there for many years as a child protective supervisor. He enjoyed spending his summers in Northeast Harbor, where he had grown up vacationing, and where he continued to overlap with his extended family.
Ben is survived by his two brothers, Lewis of Middletown, Conn., and Robert of Wyndmoor, Pa.; and many cousins, nieces and nephews, with whom he maintained close ties. He was predeceased by his son, Peter; and by his two sisters, Lorraine of Chestnut Hill, Pa., and Marie of New York City.
A memorial graveside service will be held this summer at the cemetery in Northeast Harbor, where Ben will be buried next to his son, Peter. Arrangements by Jordan-Fernald, 1139 Main St., Mount Desert. Condolences may be expressed at www.jordanfernald.com.