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Arthur L. Beneventi

April 28, 1943 - Feb. 7, 2005

Submitted by Ned Groth
September 25, 2006


I was saddened to learn, from the Darrow alumni office this July, that Arthur Beneventi had passed away, from cancer, in February 2005.

Arthur was at Darrow only for a single year (our sophomore year), and at the time he was a junior. I gather he did not leave in good academic standing so he was “put back” to the class of ’62 on the alumni rolls. I barely knew him at Darrow, and would welcome your additional memories if any of you may have known him better.

Arthur did not make a loud impression at Darrow. To the extent that I recall him, I remember a rather quiet, unassuming New York kid, if that isn’t too much of an oxymoron. And he seems to have flown largely beneath the radar—he appears in only one photo in the 1960 yearbook, the J.V. soccer team shot (in the back row, between Roland Wright and Andy Wells).

After he left Darrow, we lost track of Arthur. I don’t know where he went to college, or what he majored in. I suspect it was business or accounting, because he worked for firms in that field. Later on, in 1989, he got a law degree, from Marquette.

For many years, the only mention of Arthur in Darrow communications was that he was occasionally listed as a “lost” member of our class. About a decade ago, when I had become Class Agent and was learning to use the Internet, I did some slow, crude searches for our lost classmates, and Yahoo came up with a phone number for an Arthur L. Beneventi, in Garden City, Long Island. Before I got around to calling him, however, he sent me an e-mail. He had been trying to get back in touch with Darrow and the school had sent him an alumni directory, which had led him to look up my e-mail address on the Internet. The address on Long Island was indeed his. He filled me in a little on what he was doing (the source of my dim memory that he was working for an accounting or finance firm—but unfortunately I lost that original e-mail he sent me.) We exchanged e-mails fairly regularly after that; Arthur was interested in helping me track down other “lost” classmates (and was an early net surfer), and he gave me some good leads. He retained a strong interest in Shaker history.

Arthur’s e-mail address changed a couple of times, and we lost track of him; my missives to our class would bounce back with “unknown user” from his obsolete addresses. But he would get back in touch after a while. Four years ago, when I was calling people about our 40th reunion, Arthur told me in an e-mail that he was sorry he had missed my call, but he was recuperating from surgery, at his sister’s in North Carolina. The last time I heard from him was in May of 2002; at that point he said his recovery was progressing pretty well. He looked forward to seeing his doctor only every six months, instead of monthly, and dreaded all the catching up he’d have to do when he got back to long Island after a two-month absence.

That was the last time I heard from Arthur. When he dropped off the e-mail list again, I hoped it just meant he’d changed ISP’s again, and would check in eventually. But it was not to be.  The cancer (kidney) had outwitted the surgeon, as it so often does, and caught up with him again in later 2004. As I later learned, he had first had surgery for the cancer in 1994. Given that, his survival for 11 more years was a medical success story, of sorts. He endured three operations and months on dialysis after the final one removed all that remained of his kidneys. But he always remained optimistic in his correspondence.

To tell the truth, I don’t think any of us had seen Arthur face to face since he left Darrow in 1960. But he seemed perfectly comfortable as a member of our class e-mail group and glad to belong. Unaware of the full extent of his medical situation, I had hoped we’d get him to a reunion one of these days, but that was clearly not in the cards.

As far as I know, Arthur never married. He is survived by his sister, Lucinda Findley, of Greensboro, NC. Memorial services were held for him, in Garden City and Greensboro, back in 2005, before we knew he had passed away. His sister tells me she has endowed two scholarships in his name, one for the study of law, and one for antique car restoration (which apparently was a hobby). His name lives on, in those ways.

We, his onetime classmates at Darrow, will miss him. He was taken from us far too soon. In his own quiet way, Arthur touched the lives of a few dozen Darrow alumni. He shared bits of himself, and laughed at (some of) our jokes. He will be remembered by those who knew him for his intelligence, kindness and sense of humor.

Link: Death notice in Wisconsin Lawyer

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