ANDREWS. Bennie Frank Jr., 78, of East Hartford, beloved husband of Carolle T. Andrews, died peacefully at home surrounded by family on Monday, March 19, 2018. Born January 6, 1940 in Dayton, Ohio son of the late Bennie Andrews, Sr. and Cora Tate, he was a beloved champion of civil rights who was able to build bridges and affect positive change. Ben studied Psychology and Business Administration at Central State University in Ohio and City College in New York before pursuing graduate studies at Pace University where he served as an instructor. He was a Corporate Public Relations Executive at Olin Corporation. In 1971, he worked as Special Consultant and Project Leader for a White House project, “New Prosperity of the Phase II Economic Stabilization Program” (The New Prosperity Committee) for which he received an award for outstanding contributions from the President. He served as a Domestic Policy Advisor to former President George H.W. Bush, served as Minority Leader of the Hartford City Council, was a candidate for U.S. Congress and Secretary of State. Ben was Executive Director of the Upper Albany Community Organization (UACO), championing community organizing, affordable housing and economic development efforts in Hartford, he was Managing Director of marketing and customer relations at Smith Wiley & Company, Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) Advisor to banks, Senior Vice-President of Customer Development/Marketing at U.S. Securities Inc., and Senior Public Finance Consultant to Paine Webber Inc. Ben served as a Board Member of the Oakdale Theater, the Greater Hartford Festival of Jazz , was Chairman of WFSB advisory board for 12 years, and was the host of a radio morning talk show “59 Minutes with Ben Andrews”. A champion of civil rights, he retired after 30 years as the ranking member and former Vice Chairman of the National Board of Directors of the NAACP. He was a long-time President of the Connecticut State Chapter of the NAACP. Ben has received numerous awards for his accomplishments in civil rights, voter registration and community development including the Roger Sherman Today Award, the National FBI Community Service Award, the Roy Wilkins Civil Rights Award, the John Rogers History Makers Award, and the Boy Scouts Whitney M. Young Service Award, just to name a few. In addition to his devoted wife Carolle, he is survived by loving family: children Melanie Andrews, Anthony Andrews, and Bryan Aponte (Jennia Fredrique), of California; sister Donna Ivy of Dayton, Ohio; grandchildren Tiffany, Anthony, Lauren, Cameron, Elijah, Shaman, Nile, and Genis; in-laws Evelyn Garcia (Guy), Robert Thiesfield, Carl Thiesfield, Nancy Robinson (Richard), Rae Vann (Roger), and Lisa Thiesfield; and a host of nieces, nephews, and friends. The viewing will be held on Saturday, March 24, 2018 from 9-11 a.m. at The First Cathedral, 1151 Blue Hills Avenue, Bloomfield, CT, followed by the Funeral service at 11:00am, with a repass gathering immediately following the service at Max Downtown. The family thanks Companions & Homemakers and Hartford Healthcare HospiceCare for their compassionate care of Ben in his final days. In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to the UConn Foundation Alzheimer’s Fund, P.O. Box 842948, Boston, MA 02284-2948.