James Bernard Benidt
January 24, 1953 – January 19, 2023
James Bernard Benidt passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on Thursday, January 19th, 2023,
just shy of his 70th birthday. He will be dearly missed.
“Jim” was born on January 24, 1953 in San Mateo, California. He was the youngest of 5; the
only boy after 4 sisters. From a young age, Jim loved to be active and to spend time outside. He
grew up in Menlo Park, California, and was an original member of a bike club that is still active
today in the area. Jim graduated from Menlo Atherton High School. He loved San Francisco
sports teams, particularly The Giants and 49ers.
Jim worked as a firefighter for CAL FIRE, and later worked as a groundskeeper and handyman
for the Schulz family in Santa Rosa. He was generous with his time and with his talent, and
prioritized giving back to his community in various ways. Most notably, Jim volunteered with
Canine Companions, and spent six years as a volunteer with Catholic Charities. He was a dear
friend and source of support and encouragement to many.
As he got older, Jim continued to enjoy spending time in nature. He loved camping at Mt.
Shasta, fishing and hiking, and he especially loved being able to share these experiences in
nature with others.
Jim embodied peace and warmth, as evidenced by his love for – and connection to – animals.
He had a particular fondness for dogs. He took great pride in giving his rescue pup, Lisa, a
released dog from Canine Companions, the best life possible. He was incredibly gentle and kind.
Jim also personified strength and resilience. He was sober 35 years, and was always eager to
lend an ear to others who were earlier in their own recovery. He met everyone with compassion
Jim is predeceased by his parents, Helen and Bernhard (Bernie) Benidt, and three sisters, Jane,
Gail and Bette. He is survived by his beloved sister, Judy, along with many nieces, nephews,
cousins, and very special and cherished friends.
In honor of Jim, please consider making a donation to your local animal shelter, spending time
outdoors, and/or hugging a loved one a little tighter.
A celebration of Jim’s life will take place on Sunday, April 23, from noon to 3:00 at 1495 W.
Steele Lane (on the corner of W. Steele Lane and Range Avenue), Santa Rosa. Please come
share your happy memories and stories about Jim with those who loved him.