In Memory

Jim Benton

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02/24/23 08:55 AM #1    

Fred Stadler

The highlight for me of our 50th reunion (besides, of course, reuinting with many classmates) was the chance to personally thank Jim Benton for his major, positive influence on my career and life.  More than any other teacher, he fostered curiosity about our world and an interest in learning.  He was a strong supporter of our class and his memory will live on in how he helped shape many of our accomplishments.

02/24/23 10:14 AM #2    

Tod Stuessy

Yes, I can echo what Fred Sadler said about Jim Benton.  When I took Biology from him, I knew I wanted to be a biologist for my career. And when I took Botany with him in summer school, I realized that plant biology was my chosen path, as it turned out to be. 

Jim had just the right touch with high school students, being crazy at times, firm but not overbearing, and willing to let students pursue projects outside of classroom hours.  Also, as he was not a coach, and in his early years at Lake Forest he was not yet married, he would stay around in his laboratory/classroom after school. It became a place for the biology (and chess) nerds to congregate. 

He was special for many people, and especially for me.  Fortunately I kept in good touch with him over the years, visiting him often in Lake Bluff, and also meeting him and Betty for dinner in Vienna, Austria, when they toured through the city.  Of all the people who have had a substsantial impact on my life, Jim Benton was the most important. I owe him quite a bit.  Tod Stuessy

02/24/23 10:16 PM #3    

Steven Spaner

Fred and Tod:

I don't know when Jim Benton was added to the In Memory, but based on your postings, it must have been just after I contacted Bill with my quiry about Jim's status. I have been sending him birthday eCards for several years since last seeing him at the last reunion I attended. But my last two eCards were not picked up. Always an ominous sign at our age and especially for those older than us. Bill wrote back and confirmed that Jim had died, obviously a sad report for me. I am glad that he is now confirmed with the In Memory listing.

As with the both of you, Jim, and all my LFHS science and mathematics teachers, but especially Jim, shaped my path of university education and ultimate career choice: University professor of educational psychology, research and evaluation methods. I know that pension for research and the scientific method was sowed by my parents, both psychologists, but the LFHS teachers gave me that confidence and reward that I needed. ALL that I know about mechanics and electricity were learned in my LFHS physics class. I did take both organic and inorganic chemistry at SIU-C, but I was made curious by my LFHS chemistry. AND, I did take botany at SIU-C because of Jim's introduction to all things biological made me want to know more.

So Cheers to a life well spent and RIP Jim.

Steve Spaner

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