Benjamin “Benny” Lowell Light, 70, of Portsmouth, RI and formerly of Newport, RI, died on August 10, 2022 at home in the care of his loving wife, Deborah, after a courageous battle with Diabetes and Renal failure.
Benny was born in Newport, RI on June 20, 1952 the son of Harry A. Light and Edith (Aidinoff) Light. He is survived by 2 brothers – Stanley R. Light, Esq. of Springfield, MA and Leonard O. Light of El Cajon, CA, niece Elizabeth Light of Torrington, CT, and many cousins. He is pre-deceased by his parents and his nephew, Joshua Light.
Benny married Deborah (Peretti) Light on August 5, 1978 at the Norman Bird Sanctuary. They recently had their 44th wedding anniversary and had 46 loving years together. They enjoyed many interests in common – bird watching, music, antiques, pets (especially dogs – Kaiser, Sheva, Babe, Arthur, Simba, Zena, Halley, and Pepper), concerts, and cruising the Caribbean. They attended many of the Newport Jazz Festivals at Fort Adams. Benny was a devoted N.E. Patriots fan and enjoyed every game!
Benny had an extensive work history starting from the early age of 10 when he walked dogs at Markede Kennel (Middletown, RI), delivered for Jack’s Meat Market (Newport, RI), and worked for: Uncle Max and Aunt Rose Aidinoff at Aidinoffs Liquors (Newport, RI); The Newport Jazz Festival (late 60’s – 1971) – Festival Field Newport, RI, Electric Boat (Quonset, RI) and finally at WPRI-TV12 until his retirement.
Benny was musically talented and gave credit to his music education through the Newport Public Schools – especially Mr. Theodore Durgin (Band) at Rogers High School. Benny was a wonderful Baritone Horn player and in later years played many different percussion instruments. He loved Jazz, Brazilian Fusion Jazz and Classic rock and while working for the famed Newport Jazz Festival was manager of the Program Department until the Festival Field Riot (1971) caused the event to move from Newport. He was an employee and friend of George Wein and was fortunate to meet many of the famous performers in those early years. He was once hitch-hiking in Los Angeles and was picked up by The Kinks when they were on their way to the Hollywood Bowl! He was a huge fan of Johnny Clegg (South African musician, Zulu dancer, and anti-apartheid activist) and Brazilian Musicians Flora Purim & Airto Moreira.
Benny worked at Electric Boat Quonset (14 yrs) as a Welder and WPRI-TV12 (28 yrs) where he was the Studio Technician/Stage Director doing lighting, set design and camera for the evening news with Walter Cryan and Karen Adams, Tony Petrarca, T.J. Del Santo, Patrick Little, and Michael Montecalvo among other talented TV personalities. His technical knowledge was enhanced by many directors and lighting/audio/engineering personnel including Ron Moses, Stu Giannini, Richard Lynch and Jim Edmonds. He had opportunity to meet and televise many famous people such as Matt Light (N.E. Patriots), Geraldo Rivera, The Patriot cheerleaders, and several RI Governors, Mayors and Congress representatives at the State and National Level.
Benny’s television career interest began watching Bonnie (Riker) Mutter (Miss Bonnie of Romper Room TV 12 in the 50’s & 60’s). He was an avid TV buff and could name any show or jingle from the 60’s to present. He worked on many TV advertisements, local shows and the Meeting Street Telethon for many years. He was instrumental in running camera for the Bristol 4th of July parade.
Benny had a sweet “Southern” charm and respect as his paternal family hailed from Birmingham, AL. Benny kept close friends from childhood to present and is remembered as being a loving, kind, fun, sincere, a thoughtful listener, and most wonderful husband. He kept them all close in his heart and we will all miss him greatly.
Sincere thanks go to VNS Home & Hospice care team and his excellent physicians, Dr. Matthew Lynch (Brown Physicians Nephrology) and Dr. Thomas Rocco (VNS) for making his life comfortable over the last 10 months. Special thanks to VNS RNs Kathy O’N, Barbara M, Selena and CNAs Amy H, Sunni F, Rhonda G, Julie R, Marlene T and Bobbi N. Special thanks to the Wound Care Clinic staff at Newport Hospital and Dr. Josef Fields D.O. (now at Ortho Rhode Island) for their excellent care.
Services are omitted per Benny’s wishes. In lieu of flowers, please feel free to donate in Benny’s memory to the Potter League for Animals (Middletown, RI), EOL Multibreed Dog Rescue (Eskies Online American Eskimo Dog Rescue Presents: EOL Multi-Breed Rescue), The Norman Bird Sanctuary (Norman Bird Sanctuary), The Cornell Lab of Ornithology (Cornell Lab of Ornithology—Home | Birds, Cornell Lab of Ornithology), or a charity of your choosing.
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