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Paul G. Benedum, Jr.
May 17, 2023
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The Pittsburgh community has lost a kind and philanthropic soul. At the age of 92, Paul G. Benedum, Jr, fondly known as Benny, born on March 24th, 1931, in Elmira, New York, died peacefully at his Naples, Florida residence on Wednesday May 17, 2023. Mr. Benedum lived his life as a geologist, businessman, angler, jazz enthusiast and philanthropist. He was the son of Paul G. and Willeen Ludwig Benedum and the great nephew of the legendary oil man, Michael L. Benedum. His parents and uncle truly influenced how he lived his life and for that he was eternally grateful.
Mr. Benedum was a man of endless energy and driven by purpose. With his pocket calendar in-hand, his dailyschedule was had and rarely a day was free. Being grateful and mindful of his Uncle Mike’s message that God had given him great gifts and with them came great responsibility, Mr. Benedum worked diligently to serve that purpose.
As a proud alumnus of Shady Side Academy and Brown University he enjoyed serving them both throughout his life. He believed that education was the “stepladder” to a better life and his belief was confirmed as he witnessed outcomes during his decades of leadership on the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation board. The C. W. Benedum Foundation was founded by his Uncle Mike and that legacy influenced Mr. Benedum to form the Paul G. Benedum, Jr. Foundation. The foundation mission to provide educational opportunities to those less fortunate gave Mr. Benedum great satisfaction.
In addition to foundation work Mr. Benedum had an active role in the family business, Benedum Interests. Educated as a geologist and trained by his uncle, he spent many nights in the oil fields searching for new opportunities and always returning home with a colorful story to share. In addition to the oil gas world, he found his passion in the stock market. He spent countless hours trading, researching and believed that “The stock market waits for no man!”. And was a man who truly lived those words.
Given his interests in geology, the outdoors and education he was honored to be a life trustee of the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh. He was especially fond of Carnegie’s Museum of Natural History where he shared his love of science by funding the Benedum Hall of Geology. In Naples, Florida he was a longtime supporter of the YMCA of the Palms and the Naples Conservancy of Southwest Florida.
Mr. Benedum was a kind man whose friends, which included nearly everyone he met, came to know him and love him like family. He brought smiles to many - if ever asked how he was, his response was always the same “No need to kick if you’re not on the football team.”. He was always ready with a joke and had an endless supply committed to memory. Mr. Benedum was an avid fly fisherman who traveled the world taking his storytelling humor with him. He also loved jazz and could play the piano by ear creating his own boogie-woogie sound that was enjoyed by all.
He will be dearly missed by his love, Mary Ellen Kennerdell, and his countless friends. He will be remembered for his kindness, his warmth, his generosity, his unending sense of humor, his love of fishing, music and his wish to leave this world a better place. In his memory and in his words, Benny would say “Tight lines and good fishing to all!”
In lieu of flowers, those who wish to honor Mr. Benedum can contribute to the Carnegie Museum of Natural History-Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, 4400 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, 412-622-3131 (carnegiemuseums.org) or WZUM Jazz Pittsburgh, PO Box 456, South Park, PA 15129, 412-322-1800 (wzum.org). Friends will be received at JOHN A. FREYVOGEL SONS, INC., 4900 Centre Avenue at Devonshire Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15213 from 2.00 p.m. to 7.00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 24, 2023. A funeral service will be held at 11:00 Thursday, May 25th at the First Presbyterian Church of Pittsburgh, 320 Sixth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222. Private burial service to follow.(freyvogelfuneralhome.com)