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James Best, 82, Formerly Of Ridgefield, Worked For American Can

BETHEL, Conn.  - James “Jim” Best of Bethel, and formerly of Ridgefield, died Sept 6. He was 82.

Best was born Nov. 4, 1930, in Milwaukee, Wisc., to Anna Hilgert and Fred J. Best. He grew up in Iowa, graduating from Mason City High. He worked for his father and uncle in their cheese factory, Best Brothers. Jim graduated from Iowa State University in 1952. He was a lieutenant in the Army Corp of Engineers during the Korean Conflict.

After the war, Jim returned to Wisconsin and went to work for Marathon Corp. The purchase of Marathon by American Can in 1966 brought the family to Ridgefield. He worked for American Can for 38 years in marketing, research and product development for flexible packaging. Upon retirement from American Can in 1991, he went to work for James River Corp. for five years. He was the co-leader of the Boy Scout Troop 216 for many years. He was active in the Ridgefield Men's Club and St Andrews Church.

Best is survived by his second wife, Phyllis Newman Best; daughter, Lisa of Hoboken N.J.; sons, John (Dani) of Downingtown Pa., Peter (Tammy) of San Rafael Calif.; five grandchildren; sister-in-law, Lois Newman (Dean) Stubbe; cousins Bill and Marion (Best) Donovan; and numerous Hilgert cousins. He was predeceased by his first wife.

There will be no calling hours. The family will hold a memorial service at 11 a.m. Sept. 21 at St Andrew's Lutheran Church in Ridgefield. A reception will follow at the church.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the St Andrews Organ Fund or Domestic Violence Center.

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