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MERIDIAN — A Funeral Mass for Benjamin Alexander Quintana, Sr. will be held at St. Patrick Catholic Church, 2601 Davis Street, Meridian, MS at 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday. Interment will follow at the Mississippi State Veterans Memorial Cemetery, 248 Honor Circle, Newton, MS. Robert Barham Family Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

Benjamin Alexander Quintana Sr. passed away Sunday April 13, 2014. He was born on Dec. 15, 1921, in McComb. He was 92.

On Feb. 20, 1942, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and after training, joined the 1st Marine Raiders under the command of Major General Alexander A. Vandegrift. Ben was in combat on the Solomon Islands of Tulagi, Tasimboko and Guadalcanal in August and September of 1942. On Sept. 13, 1942, in the battle of Edson’s (“Bloody”) Ridge, he was seriously wounded, losing his right eye and sustaining multiple shrapnel wounds to his legs and hands for which he was awarded the Purple Heart. After months recovering in hospitals in New Zealand and San Diego, Calif., he was the first WWII veteran to enroll at Ole Miss.

At Ole Miss, he served as vice president of the student body and President of the Kappa Sigma fraternity. Ben received a degree in Pharmacy in 1948 and moved to Meridian, where he began his career as a Pharmacist. He spent 58 years (the last 33 as owner) at Rayner Drugs on Front Street in downtown Meridian until he closed the store in 2006.

Ben was an active member of the community. As a life member of the Optimists Club, he served in several positions of leadership including a term as District Lieutenant Governor. He also served as President of The Meridian Little Theater and President of The Meridian Symphony. Ben was Catholic by faith and a Fourth Degree Knight of The Knights of Columbus.

Ben is survived by his loving wife of 65 years, Sarah; his sister, Anne Brumfield of Magnolia; his daughter, Pamela Kathryn Quintana of Atlanta; his son, Dr. Benjamin Alexander Quintana Jr. of Bloomsbury, N.J.; his son and daughter-in- law, Edmund D. and Denise B. Quintana of Panama City, Fla.; five grandchildren, Marie Quintana, Christopher (Camille) Ward, Alexander E. Quintana, Adam J. Quintana and Andrew D. Quintana and three great-great grandchildren, Owen, Felix and Quentin Ward.

Honorary pallbearers will be the Knights of Columbus.

The family will receive visitors at Robert Barham Family Funeral Home 6300 Hwy. 39 North, Meridian, MS today, Tuesday, from 5:30 p.m. until 7 p.m.