LONG ISLAND - Benjamin Edward LaMontagne, 18, of Long Island died unexpectedly on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at his home due to complications from surgery. Benjamin was born in Portland, Maine at Mercy Hospital on July 22, 1995, the son of Peter Bruce and Lynn Finney LaMontagne. Benjamin spent the first year of his life in China where his parents were posted at the United States Embassy in Beijing. As a young student Ben attended Cathedral Grammar School, and he was currently in his senior year at Cheverus High School. A National Honor Society member, Benjamin received a merit scholarship for performance and planned to attend the Sunderman Conservatory of Music at Gettysburg College in Gettysburg, PA after graduation. Benjamin loved Cheverus High School where his interests ranged from religious studies to jazz combo and sailing. This year Ben found his AP Environmental Science and Honors English classes especially rewarding. Benjamin also recently completed a spiritual retreat with fellow Cheverus classmates. Ben drew great strength from his faith, family and friends. Benjamin was a passionate musician. In addition to his music studies in band and jazz combo at Cheverus, he studied bass clarinet for seven years under Julia Frothingham at the Portland Conservatory of Music. For the past two years he studied voice with Michael Albert, also at the Portland Conservatory of Music. Since his freshman year, Ben has performed with the University of Southern Maine sponsored Portland Youth Wind Ensemble under the direction of Dr. Peter Martin. He also performed twice with the Portland Youth Symphony Orchestra. Benjamin was twice named to the All New England Band and was principle bass clarinetist for Maine All State Band two years in a row. Ben played a variety of other instruments including the clarinet, saxophone, bassoon, and English concertina. He greatly appreciated jazz artists including Eric Dolphy who was one of the first performers to play jazz on the bass clarinet. Benjamin very much looked forward to studying under Dr. Paul Austerlitz, a jazz bass clarinetist and professor at the Sunderman Conservatory. Ben could sometimes be seen and heard busking with the penny whistle on street corners in Portland with his dear friend and fellow Cheverus senior Christian Cilley. After music, Ben's greatest love was the ocean and the outdoors. He sailed for the Varsity Sailing Team at Cheverus, lettering in the Spring of his sophomore year. Ben was also an apprentice lobsterman on Long Island, hauling traps by hand from his peapod dory 'Wicked Tippy' from age 14. He later expanded to many more of his own traps hauling from a small West Point skiff he named 'Hurdy Gurdy.' For the past two years, he spent the summer season as stern man for Donny MacVane, the senior lobsterman and mentor to many fishermen on Long Island. Ben had a deep connection to nature and the environment. He was a member of the Cheverus Outing Club, his most recent trip being a winter hike in the Bigelow range in western Maine. In his free time on Long Island, Ben would often hike the shoreline and forest to enjoying the peace and beauty of the island. His senior yearbook picture captures Ben's spirita"a snapshot of him jumping off the wharf into the wake of a ferry departing from Long Island. Another hobby of Ben's was tea, his favorite a Taiwanese Oolong called Tung Ting. Ben developed this passion for tea and the associated culture at Dobra Tea on Middle Street. He cultivated many friendships there, spending hours per week enjoying tea and fellowship. Benjamin recently recorded in a journal, "Tea is my home." Benjamin loved Long Island and the sense of family in such a small community. In a 2012 interview with the Island Institute, Ben commented on life on Long Island: "That's the great thing, feeling that you belong, like this is your huge family." He volunteered for and worked with the island recreation department and participated in many island activities. For the Long Island summer theater, Ben played supporting roles in three original musical productions written, directed and produced by Barbara Ramey, an island resident. Ben was at work writing an original musical piece that he was scheduled to perform as a lead character in "Moonlight on Lobster Bay" this coming summer's planned original production on Long Island. Ben was a dear son and a loving and caring brother, a gracious neighbor to all on Long Island. Benjamin is survived by many dear friends, neighbors, teachers, classmates and cousins along with his parents Peter and Lynn LaMontagne of Long Island; two brothers, Christian James LaMontagne, Julian Paul LaMontagne; twin sisters, Agnes Mae Grace LaMontagne, Carol Anne Grace LaMontagne all of Long Island; maternal grandmother, Charlene Finney of South Portland, maternal grandfather Edward Finney and his wife Myrna of Freeport; maternal aunts, Donna Finney of Saco, Karen Finney of South Portland; paternal aunts and uncles, Anne Marie and Jon Louie, of San Carlos, CA, Fred and Terry LaMontagne, Jr. of Gorham. Visiting hours will be held on Thursday, February 27, 2014 from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, 307 Congress Street, Portland. A Concelebrated Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, February 28, 2014 at the Cathedral. An internment service on Long Island will be held at a future date in the late spring. Arrangements are under the direction of Conroy-Tully Crawford Funeral Home, 172 State Street, Portland, ME. Those desiring may make memorial donations in Ben's memory to: Long Island Community Center Revitalization Project, P.O. Box 263, Long Island, Maine 04050.Online condolences may be expressed below.