John M. Benedict, 92, passed away peacefully on Thursday, Jan. 31, at Oakwood Hills Retirement Community in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

He was born on April 12, 1926, to Samuel and Hildreth Benedict. He went to work for his father at Benedict Sales & Service in 1942. In 1957, Samuel Benedict retired and sold the business to his three sons. Soon afterward, Edward and John purchased their brother Robert’s share. In 1963, John and Edward divided the company, with Edward taking over the home appliances segment and John continuing with the commercial refrigeration. John owned and operated Benedict Refrigeration Service Inc. until his retirement in 1994.

On December 17, 1949, John married Yvonne (Bonnie) Bye. Together they had a daughter, Julie, and a son, Tim.

John was involved in many local organizations over the years, including the Jaycees, Eau Claire Builder’s Exchange, Chippewa Valley Technical College Advisory Board, and Tyler Refrigeration Advisory Board. However, his passion was to the Shrine as a member of the ZOR Temple. He was a 32° Mason, culminating his service as the Potentate of ZOR. He was also a member of the Mehara Shrine Club Drum Corps and was often found marching out of formation and entertaining the crowds.

In his younger years, John was a member of the Town of Washington Fire Department.

Over the years, John had a love of cars and — in one five-year span — bought and sold 75 cars. John and Bonnie converted two buses and later had many motorhomes that took them throughout the U.S. and Canada. They were charter members of the Family Motor Coach Association.

John treasured his time hunting with his son and grandsons. He was well-known for his sense of humor and storytelling — he had the ability to make everyone around him smile and was loved by all.

John is survived by his daughter, Julie (Lee) Wilcox of Black Mountain, North Carolina; son, Tim (Amy) Benedict of Eau Claire; grandsons, Tony (Andrea) Benedict of Eau Claire, and Luke (Courtney) Benedict of Altoona, Wisconsin; great-grandchildren, Emelia, Eli, and Asher; step granddaughters, Elizabeth Wilcox of Madison, Wisconsin, and Sarah Borrelli of New Zealand; sisters-in-law, Marian Benedict and Eva Benedict; as well as many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Bonnie; his parents; his infant (stillborn) daughter, Susan; his brothers, Edward and Robert; his sisters- and brothers-in-law, Delores and Ronald Hillestad, and Donald and Mary Bye.

Publication date: 2/28/2019

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