October 2, 2010
TRAVERSE CITY — The Honorable Richard Lee Benedict, of Traverse City, died Saturday, Oct. 2, 2010, at Munson Medical Center, following a valiant battle with leukemia.A lifelong resident of Traverse City, Richard was born June 27, 1935, in Traverse City. Following his graduation from Traverse City Central High School in 1953, he joined the U.S. Air Force and was stationed in Okinawa and Japan during the Korean War. He was honorably discharged in 1957, and returned to Traverse City.He attended Northwestern Michigan College and the University of Michigan, where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1962. He then attended the University of Michigan Law School, graduating in 1967.Returning to Traverse City in the late 1960s, Richard opened a private law practice. In 1971, he became a Grand Traverse County Commissioner, the first of his public service positions. Two years later, he became the 86th District Court Judge, a position he held for 24 years, being elected to four consecutive terms. After leaving the bench, he returned to private law practice, eventually forming Benedict & Benedict, P.C., with his son, Matthew.Professionally, two accomplishments stood out for Richard. First, receiving the Special Conservation Award of the Year 1994 by the Michigan United Conservation Clubs, recognizing Richard's commitment to the preservation of Michigan's natural resources; second, receiving the 1997 Outstanding Alumnus from Northwestern Michigan College, recognizing his significant contributions to our community and loyalty to NMC.Richard led an active life away from work. He played and coached softball and blooper ball, and coached Little League baseball teams for many years. He enjoyed fishing with his wife, Kay, and hunting pheasant with Matthew, good friends and his trusted dogs on trips to Iowa and other states. Not only was Richard fond of dogs, he could never turn away a stray cat that appeared at his door. Later in life he took up golf and earned his pilot's license. Richard was also an avid University of Michigan football fan, frequently traveling to Ann Arbor to attend games. Above all else, he was devoted to his family, even traveling to Hawaii many times to spend Thanksgiving with son, Thom.Richard met his wife Kay in Freshman English class at Northwestern Michigan College, and they were married at St. Francis Church on April 20, 1963. In addition to Kay, Richard is survived by his sons, Thom, of Honolulu, Hawaii, and Matthew (Nicole), of Traverse City; his grandchildren, Audrey and Collin; his brother-in-law, Eugene Kelly and his wife, Katie, of Knoxville, Tenn.; and his nephews, Michael (Diane) Lozowski, of Louisville, Ky., Rick (Lisa) Lozowski, of Traverse City, and Rob (Heather) Lozowski, of Frankfort; and niece, Sheryl (Jerry) Sullivan, of Portage.He was preceded in death by his mother and stepfather, Hazel and George Wilson; his beloved sister, Kathy "Kate" Lozowski and her husband, Al Lozowski — one of Richard's closest friends.Visitation will take place Wednesday, Oct. 6, from 5 to 8 p.m. at Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home.The Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 7, at St. Francis Catholic Church. Burial will take place thereafter with immediate family at Oakwood Catholic Cemetery.The Benedict Family asks that memorial contributions be directed to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Donor Services, P.O. Box 4072, Pittsfield, MA 01202.The family is being served by Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home and Cremation Services; www.reynolds-jonkhoff.com.
TRAVERSE CITY — The Honorable Richard Lee Benedict, of Traverse City, died Saturday, Oct. 2, 2010, at Munson Medical Center, following a valiant battle with leukemia.A lifelong resident of Traverse City, Richard was born June 27, 1935, in Traverse... View Obituary & Service Information
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