Benjamin P. Roosa, Jr., a lifelong area resident died on August 28, 2019 at Vassar Brothers Hospital, Poughkeepsie, New York. Born in Beacon, New York on November 22, 1931, he was the son of the late former Beacon City Court Judge, Hon. Benjamin P. Roosa and Marion (Fleming) Roosa. He was a direct descendant of the early Dutch and French Huguenots who were the first European settlers in the Hudson Valley.
Ben was raised in Beacon, attended Spring Street School and Beacon High School. As a youth he participated in many community affairs and played on the Beacon High School football team.
Ben received his AB from Columbia College and his JD from Albany Law School of Union University. After graduation, he joined his father’s law practice in Beacon, NY in 1957 and was later joined by his daughter, Elizabeth. They continue to operate “Roosa & Roosa”, family owned and operated since 1927.
He was always involved in the community and in his Church. Raised in the First Presbyterian Church of Beacon, he served as President of their Board of Trustees; Member of the Board of the Dutchess County American Cancer Society; President of the Beacon Branch of the Salvation Army; Board Member of the YMCA; Member of Consistory of the Hopewell Reformed Church and Chairman of its Investment Committee for many years. For ten years, Ben sponsored the Duck Derby held by the American Cancer Society in memory of his late wife, Betty.
Always interested in politics, he served on the Dutchess County Legislature for Town of East Fishkill and as New York State Assemblyman for the 100th District. During his time in the Assembly, Ben sponsored legislation (later signed by Governor Rockefeller) to create the Environmental Center at Stonykill and was also awarded the American Civil Liberties Freshman of the Year designation. He also served many years on the East Fishkill Republican Committee.
Always interested in preserving the past, he was a member of the Beacon Historical Society, the Huguenot Historical Society, as well as the Fishkill and East Fishkill Historical Societies. He also was a member of Beacon Lodge 283 of the Free and Accepted Masons, the Deyo Family Association of the Huguenot Society, the Hopewell Reformed Church, New York State and Dutchess County Bar Associations and the Republican Club of the Town of East Fishkill.
In 1958, he married fellow Beaconite, Elizabeth (Betty) Haeberlin, who predeceased him in 1990. He later married Barbara Brown Cowell whom he had known in college, who also predeceased him. For the last many years, he has shared his life with Judith Phillips, a wonderful partner who provided him with much sunshine in the twilight years of his life.
He is survived by his children, Elizabeth (Betsy) Roosa and her husband, Michael Schwartz of New Hamburg, New York; Nancy R. Hilscher and her husband, J. Theodore Hilscher of Hannacroix, New York; Benjamin P. Roosa III and his wife, Connie of Acworth, Georgia; and Robert Roosa of Carmel, New York; his stepdaughter, Lynn Allton and her husband, Peter of South Carolina; his stepson, Lee Cowell and his wife Sharon of Apex, North Carolina; his grandchildren, John T. (Jack) Hilscher, IV, Cole H. Hilscher, Alex Roosa and Elizabeth (Libbie) Roosa; his sisters-in law Dr. Rita Palmer and Laine Lea; brother-in-law Richard Brown; and stepgrandsons, Jeremy Davis of Acworth, Georgia and Austin Davis of Kennesaw, Georgia.
A period of remembrance will be held on Sunday, September 1, 2019 from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the McHoul Funeral Home, Inc., 895 Route 82, Hopewell Junction, NY. Memorial services will take place at the Hopewell Reformed Church, 143 Beekman Road, Hopewell Junction, NY on Monday, September 2, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. In lieu of flowers, donations would be appreciated to the Cardinal Hayes Home for Children, P.O. Box CH, St. Joseph’s Drive, Millbrook, New York 12545, the Hopewell Reformed Church, 143 Beekman Road, Hopewell Junction, New York 12533, the First Presbyterian Church of Beacon, 50 Liberty Street, Beacon, New York 12508, or any other charity of one’s choosing. Please visit Ben’s Book of Memories at www.mchoulfuneralhome.com.