W. Ben Waters, Jr.

Published 8:15 am Wednesday, November 5, 2008

By Staff
W. Ben Waters, Jr., 73, a native of Washington, NC, died Monday, November 3, 2008 at Duke Raleigh Hospital following complications from surgery.
During his 46-year career in broadcasting, Ben served as a reporter, editor, sports play-by-play announcer, news anchor, news director, assistant general manager and corporate vice president. Beginning his television career at WITN-TV in Washington, he held positions of leadership at television stations in Raleigh, High Point and Charlotte, NC, Toledo, OH, and New Orleans, LA. As a reporter, he covered a wide range of stories ranging from America’s first space shot to national political conventions to coverage of several sessions of the General Assembly.
Ben was a former president of the North Carolina Associated Press Broadcasters Association and member of the Carolinas’ national Board of Radio Television News Directors Association of the Carolinas. He also was Chairman of the RTNDAC committee that initiated the experiment with cameras and microphones in the courtroom.
Ben joined Capitol Broadcasting in 1977 as News Director of WRAL-TV. In 1980, he joined the company’s corporate staff as Director of Special Projects. He retired from the company in 2003 as Vice President of Administration and was serving as a member of the Board of Directors at the time of his death. In retirement, he found great joy in reading and occasionally torturing area golf courses with close friends.
Ben’s civic and community work included past membership in the statewide and Wake County Board of Directors of Kids Voting USA, member of the Board of Wake Technology Academy, member of the Executive Committee of the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce and Vice Chairman of the Chamber’s Communications Board. He served as Chairman of the 2000 United Arts Campaign in Wake County.
He was a past president of the Research Triangle Region of the American Lung Association and past Chairman of the Board of Directors of Partners of Wake County. Additionally he served board terms for The American Heart Association, Raleigh Little Theatre, Keep North Carolina Clean and Beautiful, Wake Education Foundation, Rex Hospital Foundation and NCSU Humanities Foundation. At the time of his death, he was a member of the Board of the Wake Technical Community College Foundation, a member of the Conference Table and Co-Chairman of the History Committee at Edenton Street United Methodist Church.
Ben is survived by Martha, his wife of 43 years, daughter and son-in-law Kimberly and Wayne Grant of Atlanta, GA, three grandchildren, and brother and sister-in-law, Bill and Pat Waters of Biloxi, MS.
Memorial contributions may be made to the house of worship or charity of one’s choice.
A service commemorating Ben’s life will be held Thursday, November 6 at 11 a.m. at Edenton Street United Methodist Church. The family will receive friends at the church following the service or other times at the home. Interment will be private. Arrangements by Lightner Funeral Home.
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