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Posted by Cathy Gowdy on Saturday, January 21, 2006 at 05:31:21 :

Point Reyes Light - May 15, 2003

Jack de Benedictis, 82, a West Marin scholar
By Larken Bradley

Longtime West Marin resident Jack de Benedictis, a Slavic language scholar and teacher, died Wednesday, April 23, after suffering a heart attack while gardening at his Point Reyes Station home. He was 82.

Language teacher

A Russian language and English teacher at College of Marin for more than 30 years, Mr. de Benedictis is also credited with establishing the schoolís first language laboratory.

Before moving to Point Reyes Station more than 20 years ago, Mr. de Benedictis lived in Nicasio for nearly two decades.

Mr. de Benedictis was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on October 25, 1920. When he was just three years old his father died, and he, his mother and younger brother went to live with his maternal grandparents in Mount Lebanon, Pennsylvania.

After earning a bachelorís degree in English from the University of Pennsylvania he served in the US Armyís intelligence unit in Europe during World War II. As an interrogator of prisoners of war, he was honored with a battlefield commission in recognition of his contributions, his family noted this week.

In 1942 he married his first wife, Doris Gillium. At the end of the war the couple moved to California where he earned a masterís degree in Slavic languages and literature at UC Berkeley.

He launched his teaching career at Modesto Junior College, and later accepted a post at College of Marin.

"Jack will be remembered for his gentle, understanding manner and attentive way of listening," his family observed. "He had a unique ability to make whomever he was with the center of the universe during their time together."

A giving man

On Wednesday his wife, Michele Maltseff de Benedictis, observed, "he was a giver."

An insatiable reader, Mr. de Benedictis had many avocations including "researching his family genealogy, and working on his website" his daughter, Jo de Benedictis reported.

A memorial gathering will be held at noon, Tuesday, May 20, at the Redwood Grove at College of Marin, Kentfield.

He is survived by his wife of 23 years, Michele Maltseff de Benedictis of Point Reyes Station; daughter, Jo de Benedictis of Santa Rosa; daughter and son-in-law, Juliana and Jim Cherry of Bozeman, Montana; son and daughter-in-law, Paul James and Amy de Benedictis of Menlo Park; brother and sister-in-law, Paul and Gene de Benedictis of Sonoma; granddaughters, Robyn Harrington of Santa Rosa; Anna de Benedictis of Menlo Park; and grandson, Julien de Benedictis of Menlo Park; two nieces and a nephew.

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