James H. Benedix Sr.

LITCHFIELD/COCOA BEACH, Fla. – James H. Benedix Sr., of Cocoa Beach, Fla. and Litchfield, Maine, left this world peacefully, Monday, Feb. 22, 2021 from pneumonia at Cape Canaveral Hospital. By his side were his loving wife of 10 years, Jane Lemier Benedix, and youngest son, Kevin R. Benedix. Jim was 86, born in 1934 to Katherine and Edward Benedix Sr. of Rumford, the 10th of 11 children. Only his dear sister Madeline Fournier of Rumford remains with us.

Jim was a graduate of Stevens High School, a U.S. Navy veteran who served at the tail end of the Korean War and thereafter on the aircraft carrier USS Shangri-La, and a distinguished graduate of Bryant College, Smithfield, R.I. It was at Stevens High School in Rumford where he met his 1st love and wife of 56 years Gertrude (Guay) Benedix. They shared many wonderful years growing their family and enjoying the fruits of their labors until her passing in August of 2009.

The first member of his family to graduate from college, Jim journeyed in his work life as a masterful accountant, businessman and entrepreneur. From financial positions with Kennedy’s Department Stores in Boston after graduation, to many accounting, controller and GM level positions with Ripley & Fletcher, C.N Brown Companies, Downey Corporation, and as CFO with Everett J. Prescott, Inc., which brought him and his family to Gardiner in 1974.

It was in Gardiner that Jim set out on his true calling as an entrepreneur, purchasing Gardiner Lumber Co., and embarking on his greatest successes with Benedix Enterprises, Inc. The Gardiner Quik Stop soon followed, along with the Richmond General Store and the Wiscasset General Store which would become the Wiscasset Quik Stop. He played an active role in the entry of Irving Oil Company into the US market – inking a deal to have the Quik Stops of Maine be the 1st Independent Irving Gasoline Dealer in the USA.

Another significant achievement was Jim’s role in the founding and creation, with several other local friends, fathers and businessmen, of the Kennebec Ice Arena, which quickly became the beacon for skaters and hockey players longing for a home in Central Maine. Hockey and skating was a huge part of his and his children’s lives and still is.

He further showed his commitment to community by working directly with Maine Governors Ken Curtis and Jim Longley on various councils related to sports-fitness and community cooperation whenever he was called upon. This included starting Maine Day and hosting the then Boston Patriots at Maine fundraising events. He also gladly supported numerous local charities in the Gardiner, Wiscasset and Richmond areas over his career.

Beyond his work and businesses, his large and loving extended family, and multitude of friends and associates, Jim’s honest pleasure in life was being on the golf course. Gifted with many blessings, his unorthodox golf swing (due to major back surgery earlier in life), was not one of them. However, as his sons, grandsons and golf friends will attest, he used creativity and an amazing touch on the links to better his game right up until the very end. He could always find happiness even in the worst rounds of golf – looking to the bright side and how it would help his tournament handicap, always preferring to discuss his net score rather than the gross. From golf courses throughout Maine and New England, to Florida and beyond Jim developed genuine friendships that would last his lifetime, and beyond. The flags at Cocoa Beach Country Club are at half-mast in Jim’s memory.

Along with the love of those around him, Jim was blessed with a sharp mathematical mind, an amazing work ethic, a keen entrepreneurial business sense, a true and palpable respect for others regardless of their situation, and, to the benefit of all those lucky enough to know him personally, a wonderful sense of humor. His family, friends, business associates, golf buddies and, yes, even his nurses and doctors at Cape Canaveral over his last few days, will remember Jim for his quick wit, funny stories and humorous insights.

Jim was predeceased by his loving wife of 56 years Gertrude L. Benedix; his much loved daughter Brenda M. (Benedix) Whitley; and numerous siblings and relatives dear to him.

Jim is survived by his loving wife of 10 years Jane; and five children. Catherine McDevitt and husband Randy, Sr. of West Gardiner, David Benedix and wife Shannon of Kennebunk, Debra Grover and husband Steven of Monmouth, James Benedix, Jr. and wife Beth of Greencastle, Ind., Kevin Benedix and wife Colleen of Boston, Mass. and Litchfield, and his son-in-law Paul Whitley, Jr. and his wife Kim of West Gardiner. He is also survived by his sister Madeline Fournier of Rumford; 13 grandchildren, Randy McDevitt, Jr., Lisa Danis, Kate Condon, Emily Grover, Joseph Benedix, Max Grover, Christian Benedix, Braeden Benedix, Bryant Whitley, Jacob Whitley, Connor Whitley, Campbell Benedix, Tobey Benedix; and nine great- grandchildren, Taylor, Cameron and Logan McDevitt, Jace, Brynn and Karlee Danis, Christopher and Reid Condon, and Poppy Grover; and many, many nieces, nephews, in-laws and friends. He also will be greatly missed by his four legged friend Ben, his loyal and beloved Boston Terrier.

A Catholic funeral mass for Jim is being planned for this summer in Gardiner.

The family asks that anyone wishing to honor their friendship with Jim with a donation may do so with a contribution to:

The Brenda Marie Foundation at http://www.brendamariefoundation.org, a Maine-based public charity that assists individuals and families in overcoming the costs and difficulties associated with traveling to and from medical facilities to visit loved ones and attend appointments. The charity was started by Jim’s grandson, Max Grover, in memory of Jim’s youngest daughter, Brenda Marie Whitley, who succumbed to leukemia in 2010

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