Benjamin Franklin Erwin IV, devoted teacher, coach

March 13, 2023

Benjamin “Ben" Franklin Erwin IV, 79, of Harbeson, and Wildwood Crest, N.J., passed away Friday, March 10, 2023, at Delaware Hospice in Milford.  He was born Sept. 3, 1943, in Philadelphia, Pa., son of the late Benjamin F. Erwin III and Marcella F. (Berhardt) Erwin.

Ben resided in Ambler and Lower Gwynedd, Pa., before spending his retirement years in Delaware. He graduated from LaSalle University with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and continued his studies, obtaining a master of business administration from Temple University and a master’s degree in computer science from Villanova University. Ben enjoyed a varied career working as a systems analyst at Honeywell for 27 years, an athletics coach at Hatboro-Horsham High School for 20 years and a teacher at Penn State University for 27 years.

Ben loved to teach. He coached girls' track and cross country at Hatboro-Horsham High School, assisted the runners at the Ambler Olympic Club, loved to help others learn to surf at the Jersey shore, and realized his dream when teaching business and computer science classes at Penn State Abington. He was instrumental in the campaign to obtain a Nittany Lion shrine for the Abington campus.

Ben had many and varied interests and hobbies. He was a very active outdoorsman and enjoyed running for 44 years, surfing, a hobby he took up when he was 52 years old, and biking. Ben could often be found watching football and baseball. The Philadelphia Eagles and Phillies were his favorite pro teams, but watching Penn State football and tailgating at home games was his No. 1 sporting event. He also enjoyed entering his restored 1965 Triumph TR4 in car shows, setting up his model train layout and taking photos. His favorite vacations were at the Jersey shore and Hilton Head Island, S.C.

Ben truly treasured the time spent with his daughters and their families, and being with them always brought a smile to his face. He was a loving and nurturing husband, father, grandfather, and friend. Loved by many, he will be deeply and genuinely missed by all who were fortunate enough to know him.

Ben was preceded in death by his sisters, Marcella Gates and Dolores Sommers. He is survived by his wife, Karen Erwin; his children, Terri Welsh of Perkasie, Pa., Julie Kent (Larry) of Salisbury, Md., and Dale Wigglesworth of Salisbury; his grandchildren, Rusty and Alexis Kent, and Logan and Chase Wigglesworth; and his brother, Charles Erwin.

A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m., Friday, March 17, at Parsell Funeral Homes and Crematorium, Atkins-Lodge Chapel, 16961 Kings Hwy., Lewes, where friends may call beginning at 10 a.m. Interment will follow at Milton Cemetery, 514 Union St., Milton.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations in Ben’s memory to Delaware Hospice, 100 Patriots Way, Milford, DE 19963; or Dementia Society of America, P.O. Box 600, Doylestown, PA 18901,

Visit Mr. Erwin’s Life Memorial webpage and sign his virtual guestbook at


Subscribe to the Daily Newsletter