Benjamin Fine, 74


Benjamin Fine, longtime Stamford resident and Fairfield University professor, died March 11 at his home.

Benjamin Fine

He was 74.

Born in New York City on Oct. 12, 1948, he was the son of Reuben and Sonya LeBeoux Fine.

Kind-hearted, gregarious and funny, Ben was a great storyteller who was always there for friends and family.

He grew up in Brooklyn—a childhood that would serve as fodder for stories he later spun into published books—graduating from Abraham Lincoln High School and then earning his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Brooklyn College. He would go on to earn a doctorate degree in algebraic group theory and statistics from New York University.

He taught math at Fairfield University for 40 years, and in 2013 earned a degree in creative writing from the institution, turning his stories into published books.

Ben loved to play golf and tennis. He coached for the Special Olympics for some 50 years. He loved cheering on his children, and later his grandchildren, during swim meets, his powerful voice of encouragement echoing across pool decks through several decades. He loved to eat and knew all the diners in the area—favorite spots included Bull’s Head Diner, Parkway Diner and Rye Ridge Deli.

Ben loved his family above all else.

He married the love of his life, Linda Smith, in June 1969.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by his daughter Carolyn Fine Neyer (husband Scott), son David Fine, and grandchildren Shane, Sawyer, Quinn, Summer, Stratton, Stella and Suzannah. 

A funeral will be held at 1 p.m. on Monday, March 13 at Temple Beth El, 350 Roxbury Road, Stamford, Conn., with interment to follow at Beth El Cemetery. Family members will observe shiva from 2 to 9 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at the Fine home, 24 West Bank Lane in Stamford, Conn.

2 thoughts on “Benjamin Fine, 74

  1. Thanks for sharing the obituary.

    Dr. Fine was an enthusiastic professor, and I’m a little shocked at hearing about this. I took a number of courses with him including statistics at Fairfield. It is worth mentioning that his father Reuben Fine was a leading chess grandmaster and author before he took up his regular profession.

  2. Ben was truly an amazing fellow. There are people one likes, there are people one loves,… Ben fell into the second category as far as I was concerned. He was amazing, happy, and radiated a mathematical wave embodied by the likes of Wilhelm Magnus, one of the founding fathers of Combinatorial Group Theory. Seeing Ben arrive at the NYC Group Theory Seminar was a major treat. It was evident from talking to Ben that he came from an extraordinary intellectual tradition. He was open minded, very casual, extremely extremely funny, understanding, present, and filled with incredibly smart quips that bespoke of his amazing upbringing…Some of the things he would say casually, I still remember. He was also extremely down to earth, and compassionate. Really sad such an amazing person is gone, and so early!!! And yes, he is one of the mathematicians whose work I keep in a special folder, next to the work of G. Baumslag, and a few others…

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