Tuesday, January 09, 2007



-----Original Message-----From: Bruce Hansen Sr. Sent: Monday, January 08, 2007 2:28 PM Subject: Jay

Dear Friends,

Jay died last night about midnight. Please pray for peace and comfort for his family and close friends. There will be a private family funeral this week and a celebration of Jay's life later in January. Jay would have been 70 on January 26.

LNC: Jay was the son of John DeBenedetti a prominent and much respected rancere "su per la costa". Adio, Jay. Until we all meet again
across "Il Ultimo Ponte". Ivan0

LNC: The below Remembrance of Jay's life appeared in the Santa Cruz Sentinel :

January 12, 2007

Capitola Mall developer dies at age 68
Developer John L. "Jay" deBenedetti III, who built the Capitola Mall and Gateway Plaza in Santa Cruz, died Sunday in Atherton after a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 68.
DeBenedetti was born in San Francisco and grew up in coastal Santa Cruz. He came from a pioneering family of growers and shippers.
He graduated from Santa Cruz High School, and in 1959, he graduated from UC Berkeley, where he was a member of the golf team and the Zeta Psi fraternity. He was honored to be a member of "The Builders of Berkeley" and supported many Cal programs over the years.
He broke with the family's agricultural roots and pursued a career as a commercial real estate developer. The beginning of his career was spent with Coldwell Banker and Sutter Hill Development.
In 1976, he co-founded Cypress Properties where he engaged in shopping center and suburban office acquisitions and development.
For several years, he was president of the Lake Tahoe lakefront homeowners association.
He served on the board of high-tech and medical technology companies as well as philanthropic interests including The Vista Center for the Blind. "Beyond being a successful businessman," said his son John F. deBenedetti, who is blind, "people respected him as a person with integrity"
DeBenedetti's son lost his eyesight when he was 11, which got him interested in helping organizations for the blind, his son said.

"He was real generous to UC Berkeley and to a number of blindness organizations," his son said.
He was a giving man, his son added, personally and philanthropically.
"He was just a larger-than-life leader of our family," he said.
DeBenedetti enjoyed golfing, business and philanthropy. He was a member of the San Francisco Golf Club, Bohemian Club and Menlo Country Club.
DeBenedetti is survived by his wife Marti DeBenedetti of Atherton; daughter Ann Levis of St. Louis; son John deBenedetti of San Francisco; daughter Mary Newman of Lafayette; sister Jane McInnis of Atherton; eight grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
A celebration of his life will be at the San Francisco Golf Club at a future date.
Contributions are preferred to That Man May See, a public charity supporting UC San Francisco ophthalmology, 10 Koret Way Box 0352, San Francisco, CA 94143-0352 or the UC Berkeley Foundation in support of the Memorial Stadium Building Fund, UC Regents/Gift Administration 2080 Addison St., Berkeley, CA 94720.


Ted Anderson said...

I remember Jay at our "Senior Sneak" day at Forest pool. He was in the pool all by himself, and swimming a breast stroke, creating waves that slopped over the edge of the pool. I had never seen such a demonstartion of swimming power before. We'll all miss him, as we miss some others from our class.

Thanks for keeping us posted on some of the events and people from our class.

Ted Anderson ('55)

len klempnauer said...

Jay joined a close-knit group of local 1954 grads who played poker
together during winter and spring breaks and summers while attending
college: Bob Branstetter, the late Bill Deans, Chuck Filice, and myself, Santa Cruz High; John Maranta, Jim Scoppettone and Frank Sherrill, Holy Cross High; and Ralph Moceo, Bellarmine Prep but a Santa Cruz resident.

Len Klempnauer, Capitola

Ivano said...

This is an e-mail sent to me by Jay last September,not even four months ago. I have previously posted its contents on the BLOG, however, I felt that it was well worth re-posting. iv0

----- Original Message -----

Sent: Tuesday, September 26, 2006 12:34 PM
Subject: Re: Fw: [lnostra-costa] 9/26/2006 08:51:07 AM

Dear Ivan, I was under the impression that I mailed you when I finished reading your book. If I didn't, I apologize. The work was a labor of love and commitment to your family and childhood friends. Congratulations and well done. If there is a way to forward this to Dorothy, please do. Its a privilege to be remembered as her first boyfriend; I have never forgot that. Actually my mother Fredrica Hanson was born in Pasadena and grew up in Berkeley. She met my father while they both attended Cal. The John deBenedetti family has its USA roots in SF, circa 1855 when John migrated from San Vicenzo (near Genoa ). His son Joseph followed in about 1863 to SF and then to Half Moon Bay where he married, worked and raised a family of 8 children; one of which was my grandfather John L deBenedetti. We moved from San Mateo to Santa Cruz in 1942. Ivan, sorry about the book signing, I'll be out of town. All the best Jay

Wes Pringle said...


I was s friend of Jay's principally during elementry school at Mision Hill. He originally lived at the top of the Locust Street steps and we would walk to and from school together. The family moved to Pasatiempo and we remained friends. His family often invited me to swim or other activities. In fact, some of you may remember my birthday party at their house in sixth grade. I still have pictures of that event. I also recall going to a Stanford football game with Jay and his father. He and his family and their friends were always nice to a boy from the "wrong side of the tracks". Later, when I worked at the Spike Jones Service Station, some of their friends would come in for gas and alsways remember me. I have great memories of the days and Jay and his family.

Wes Pringle

Don Binsacca said...

Thank you for informing us of the passing of Jay. It is sad to hear when one of
our classmates has died, especially when he was relatively young and you have
recently enjoyed his company. If my memory serves me correctly, I believe he
was younger than most of us and would have been 69 on January 26th. > Don

Anonymous said...

What about the homes and business at the location of the now gateway plaza? Was that not property of C. Scherer.
I have been searching for pictures of what the land was once. I always thought it was Chuck who made Gateway. He must have passed at around the same time.