Benjamin Cleveland Zollman, 84, of Warrenton, VA, passed away early the morning of September 15, 2022 at Legacy Ridge memory care home in Gainesville. He fought an arduous battle against Alzheimer's, and died peacefully in his sleep.
Funeral mass will be celebrated on September 24 at 1:00 pm at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Warrenton, VA, followed by a celebration of life reception. Burial will be at a later date.
Ben was born on February 19, 1938 in Washington, DC to Virginia and James Zollman. He graduated from Richard Montgomery High School in 1957. He then enlisted and spent two years in the Marines, traveling with the American Land Forces-Middle East to Lebanon, on what he jokingly called his "Mediterranean cruise."
After his military service, Ben worked at Safeway on McArthur Boulevard where a chance encounter with a customer led to his eventual career as a cartographer with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Never one to sit still, he earned his BS at the University of Maryland while also climbing the ranks at NOAA to become chief of the enroute navigation branch. Throughout his nearly 40 years at NOAA, Ben also worked steadily in his side job as a carpenter, doing renovations, building furniture, and even building his family a second home in Ladysmith, VA. After retiring in 1997, he continued working in his construction business until health concerns slowed him down. Ben & his wife were also very involved with St. Elizabeth of Hungary parish when they lived in Colonial Beach.
Ben is survived by his devoted wife, Elizabeth (Betti), of Warrenton. His loving family also includes his daughter, Sarah Smarrelli, and her husband Dave, also of Warrenton, and his son James Zollman, and his wife Selma, who reside in Boca Raton, Florida. Ben's grandchildren are Anthony (Warrenton) and Lindsy Smarrelli (Westminster, CO), and Ben Zollman (Boca Raton).