Benjamin Chilton

The Baltimore Sun

Benjamin Chilton, an electrical engineer who enjoyed woodworking, died of cancer Tuesday at his home in Lancaster, Va. The former Cub Hill resident was 69.

Born Charles Benjamin Chilton in Remington, Va., he earned an electrical engineering degree from Virginia Polytechnic Institute in 1960.

He moved to Baltimore and joined the Bendix Corp., later a division of Allied Signal. He headed its instrumentation and design engineering department. He worked on aspects of the NASA Apollo Program, the space shuttle and the Hubble Space Telescope. He held a patent titled Commutated Motor Speed Measuring Means. He retired about 10 years ago.

Mr. Chilton enjoyed canoeing, kayaking, volleyball and woodworking. He told family members that "any day you make sawdust is a good day." He kept a large basement woodshop.

He belonged to the Woodpeckers, a Baltimore-based group of craftsmen whose projects included making toys distributed to patients in children's hospitals.

Before moving to Lancaster, Va., in 2004, he was a member of Trinity Episcopal Church in Towson, where he had been a vestry member.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Monday at St. Mary's Whitechapel, 5940 White Chapel Road, Lancaster, Va.

Survivors include his wife of 41 years, the former Nancy Deets, a former Riderwood Elementary School teacher who later led the Assistance Center of Towson Churches; two daughters, Jennifer R. Chilton of New York City and Elizabeth A. Chilton of Nashville, Tenn.; a brother, John Francis "Jack" Chilton of Fairfax, Va.; a sister, Mary Newell of Mathews, Va.; and two grandchildren.

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