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Jeffrey S. Bendis

Published: 2/14/2020 3:01:18 AM
Modified: 2/14/2020 3:01:06 AM

WOODSTOCK, VT — If you’re reading this, I have passed away or died, if you will, since I actually wrote this obituary and, in order to avoid confusion, I requested that it not be published while I was still alive.

If this paragraph is included in this obituary, then I went out on my own terms as they say in obituaries here in Vermont. I certainly didn’t come here because that avenue was available - ‘cuz it wasn’t when I first got here. But Act 39 became the law and, given my medical situation, I thought it wise to take advantage of it. A shout out to the oncology teams at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston and The Foley Cancer Center in Rutland for their medical care, knowledge, and support. That said, please become a strong advocate for your health care issues. Demand that your medical team listens to you and takes appropriate action. If you’re going to take charge of any aspect of your life make it your health care.

I can proudly say that I gave life my best shot - except for not learning how to speak Spanish and driving along the edge of mountain roads with or without guardrails. I really did. What else can be expected of us? Whether it was my corporate life wherein I rose to a senior position in a very large and successful international company and got to enjoy the “fruits of my labor” (actually what I enjoyed were the dollars in my paycheck as well as my accomplishments) or in my civic, cultural, and social volunteer life wherein I most often rose to positions of leadership whether I wanted to or not because I was blessed with the ability to clearly express myself and my ideas verbally and in writing - thanks for that gene pool thing dad - and the ability to rally the troops to get stuff done. Not to mention my sense of humor which often served to keep things on track and in a lighter vein.

So I joined a gaggle - or maybe it was a slew - of boards and commissions to share with these organizations whatever talents I had acquired over the years. I served as a volunteer counselor with the Service Corp of Retired Executives (SCORE) to help small businesses get started or achieve their goals. I was a member of the Woodstock Rotary Club where my most important achievement as I saw it was managing the process of bringing into Woodstock and sending out to a bunch of foreign countries high school students on a very rewarding youth exchange program. I served for years first as a regular member and then as chair of the Village Design Review Board. I was a volunteer driver for the American Cancer Society Road to Recovery Program providing rides for area cancer patients who needed transportation for their medical appointments. I was chair of the Mertens House Board of Directors. I served on the Board of the Thompson Senior Center. For several years I served on the Osher@Dartmouth Leadership Council and chaired the Marketing and Communications Committee. I was a volunteer mentor in the Shining Light Mentoring Program. I was a member of the Board of Directors of the Woodstock Area Chamber of Commerce. And so on and so on. I hope I made a difference.

I must devote some serious space to Barbara. Although we met rather late in life (at ages 63 and 57) after we both had numerous relationships and worldly experiences, and we clashed every now and then over things that weren’t terribly important, although they seemed so at the time, she was a most surprising and wonderful companion. A “foodie” of the highest order, I always marveled at how she would stare into the refrigerator and into the cupboards, pull out various packages and containers, and voila, a meal fit for those with far more discerning pallets than mine came forth. She was also a superb travel companion and much more adventurous than I. Yet we made that difference work as well. She gardened like a demon creating a glorious yard with stunning views out of every window in our home. She was one with nature. It made her very special. And, she was the smartest person that I ever met. We challenged each other’s intellect constantly. And, finally, she laughed a lot - a robust and hearty laugh. What a joy.

I need to thank all of my friends for all of the wonderful dinners, parties, excursions, concerts, and laughs we shared over the years. I also want to thank everybody I served and worked with on various boards, commissions, and committees. Collectively, we did some really good work and we accomplished a lot. There are way too many to mention individually and, of course, if I tried I’d inadvertently leave somebody out and I’d never be forgiven. You all know who you are.

Finally, I am survived by approximately 7.15 billion people, but I’ll only mention my sons Jared Bendis of Cleveland, OH, Brian Bendis of Portland, OR, my brothers Robert Bendis of Cleveland, OH and Jonathan Bendis of New York, NY.

My full obituary and a guest book can be found at Family and friends will be invited to gather to celebrate my life at a later date to be announced.

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