Bernard "Ben" Carroll
-- Richard C. Clement, Hall of Fame Honoree '90,
Retired Dover Township Chief of Police
Ben was born in Philadelphia as the first child of Irish immigrants. His family moved to Toms River soon after he was born where, at the time, Irish immigrants were a minority. Ben began working at a very early age, and it took him longer to graduate from Toms River High School because he missed so many days of school working to help support his family. He graduated High School in 1939.
As a child, he worked with fishermen and farmers locally, which enabled him to learn the lay of the land. It seemed that there was no one who knew more about what was going on in this town than Ben. He was a great judge of character, and his quick wit won you over. Ben was a loyal friend... one that we miss very much.
Ben was raised in the center of Toms River and, with his people skills, mingled very well. Through his Irish wit, outgoing personality, good looks, athletic prowess, and ambition, he was very popular with young and older people in town.
Ben was a veteran of World War II, serving in the Army Air Corp from 1940 to 1945. He earned the rank of Tech-Sergeant, and was stationed at Hickham Field when the Japanese attacked it on December 7, 1941. T/Sgt. Carroll served as an engineer on B-17s. He was in the battle of Midway, the Solomons, Marshall and Ryker's Island, the. Coral Sea, and Guadalcanal. TISgt. Carroll received many medals, but most notable were the Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal, and Dutch and Belgium Government Awards.
After discharge from the service, "Ben" joined the Dover Township Police Department where he served until John Schenone and he bought the "Sweet Shop." Ben was the co-owner of the "Sweet Shop," which was the center and heart of the community. For thirty years, the "Sweet Shop" was an example of democracy at its best. Doctors, lawyers, educators, carpenters, plumbers, local politicians, and others shared the stools, and exchanged greetings, jokes, and jibes. To paraphrase Harry Truman, "If you can't stand the heat, stay out of the Sweet Shop." No checks were accepted and, as you departed, you told Ben what you had ordered, and Ben rang up the total bill. The business was a true reflection of the man.
Later, Ben worked as a Lieutenant of Security at the Tropicana Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City. Ben was very active in many local and business organizations including St. Joseph's Holy Name Society (charter member), Bey Lea Golf Course Commissions, Toms River First' Aid Squad and Fire Co. #1, and George P. Vandelveer-American Legion Post 129.
He married Marie Dugan, a Toms River High School graduate and registered nurse. They raised two sons, Patrick and Mickey, who were very active in sport activities. Ben and Marie attended all of their games. Ben was always a committed family man, and both Marie and he had hopes and dreams of enjoying their lives together for many years. Today, Marie and we have loving memories and pleasant recollections of the good times shared with "Ben."
We induct Ben into the Toms River Schools Hall of Fame, not only because of his success in business and service to local business and civic organizations. He also provided character education to generations of local youth at the Sweet Shop on Main Street... a place for respectful fun.
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