Founding BE President Fred Benedict With the Lord
February 22nd, 2011
Frederick "Fred" W. Benedict, 81, of Union City, OH, passed away Sunday, February 20, 2011, at the Brethren Retirement Community in Greenville, Ohio. Benedict was a Brethren historian, printer, and writer who headed the Brethren Encyclopedia Project (www.brethrenencyclopedia.org) until just several years ago when the current president, Robert Lehigh, succeeded him.
Benedict was also instrumental in helping to establish the Brethren Heritage Center (www.brethrenheritagecenter.org) in Brookville, Ohio. The following capsule history is from the Heritage Center's website:
By 1999 some Old German Baptist Brethren became concerned about preserving their books and records. One of them, Fred W. Benedict, who had earlier pledged his entire library for preservation, met Larry E. Heisey and Mark Flory Steury, each of whom pledged to supplement a project from their own extensive collections. At the same time the Happy Corner project needed a new home.
In August 2000, Benedict attended a meeting of the Historical Committee and on January 24, 2001, members from several old-order groups, totaling about 30 persons, met in Greenville and agreed to meet with the Historical Committee at Mill Ridge Village in Union, Ohio.
The first joint meeting was March 24, 2001 at Mill Ridge Village. Monthly meetings followed, with eventually 18 to 20 persons meeting regularly in space donated by contractor Ronald J. Filbrun beneath Brookside Plaza in Brookville, Ohio. The Brethren Heritage Center was established in 2002 with 7100 square feet and an additional 6000 square feet added in 2008. A Grand Re-Opening was held on May 2-3, 2009 in the expanded facility
Dale Ulrich, secretary of the BE board and also a founding board member, said, “Brother Fred was selected president at the time of the organization of Brethren Encyclopedia, Inc. on December 17, 1977. He continued as president until October 16, 2006.
“To me it was not his long tenure that distinguished Fred so much as it was the wonderful spirit with which he performed his presidential duties. It was his qualities of a thoughtful, compassionate person and a careful, dedicated scholar that really distinguished Brother Fred. He is dearly loved and will be greatly missed.”
Benedict was born January 16, 1930, in Waynesboro, PA, to his parents Louis & Martha (Stoner) Benedict. He graduated from Quincy High School and retired from Piqua Printing (Quality Forms). He was a member of the Old German Baptist Brethren Church, Shady Grove District.
Fred is survived by his loving wife Reva Benedict; sons and daughters-in-law Solomon & Linda Benedict of Russia, Daniel & Angela Benedict of Troy; daughters and son-in-law Martha Montgomery of Greenville, Sara & Wade Miller of Greenville; grandchildren Stephen & Jenn Benedict, Timothy Benedict, Heidi & Jake Wolf, Brian Montgomery, Anthony & Aleta Montgomery, Joshua & Jo Miller, Gina Miller, Alyssa Miller, Caitlin Miller, Tacy Miller, Kendra Benedict, Tara Benedict, Margaret Steineman, Alexandra Steineman; great grandchildren Chloe, Jaden & Dessie Wolf, Clem & Kristen Montgomery; brothers and sisters-in-law Frank & Doreen Benedict of Bechtelsville, PA, Dan & Martha Benedict of South English, IA; sisters and brothers-in-law Frances Skiles of Bowie, AZ, Florence & John of Salt Lake City, UT, Isabelle & Donald Hess of Waynesboro, PA, Emma & Nelson Rolz of Chambersburg, PA, Laura & Harold Slothour of Chambersburg, PA, Marjorie & D. Robert Hess of Chambersburg, PA.
He was preceded in death by his parents; son-in-law Lowell Montgomery; brother-in-law Jody Skiles.
Funeral services will be held 10:00 AM Thursday, February 24, at the Old German Baptist Brethren Church, 6360 Farrington Rd, Covington. Interment will follow at Sugar Grove Cemetery. Calling hours for friends and family to gather will be held 3-5 and 6-8 PM Wednesday, at Jackson-Sarver Funeral Home, 10 S. High Street, Covington.
If so desired, memorial contributions may be made to Brethren Heritage Center, Brookville, or State of the Heart Hospice.
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