1921 - 2012

Walter Benedict, M.D. (OPH ’52)

BENEDICT, WALTER H., M.D. – devoted husband, loving father, and well known ophthalmologist, passed away October 20, 2012. He was 90. He will be long remembered for his generous, compassionate and loving nature. Walter Benedict was born on December 28, 1921, in Rochester, Minnesota, where his father was head of the eye department of the Mayo Clinic. After graduating from Carleton College he received his medical degree from the University of Michigan in 1946. Following completion of a fellowship at the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Benedict returned to Rochester and received additional training in his specialty at the Mayo Clinic. In 1952, he moved to Knoxville and established his medical practice. Dr. Benedict was a past president of the Knoxville Academy of Medicine and served as Chief of Staff of the East Tennessee Baptist Hospital. On a national level, he was a member of the American Ophthalmological Society, the American Academy of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology, the American Academy of Medicine, and was a past president of the American Eye Study Club. After retiring in 1989, Dr. Benedict became an avid golfer and also enjoyed ballroom dancing. Survivors include his wife, Burnette B. Benedict; sister, Barbara Benedict Hanlon, Rochester, Minnesota; sons, John W. Benedict II (Cynthia), Longwood, Florida, and Walter H. Benedict, Jr. (Beth), Atlanta, Georgia; stepdaughters, Rebecca Vittetoe and Melissa Hannah (Ben), Knoxville, Tennessee; grandchildren, Leila Benedict Theophilus, Longwood, Florida, John W. Benedict, III, Denver, Colorado, Cathryn Benedict Chetek (Brett), St. Louis, Missouri, Bo S. Benedict and Elizabeth Benedict Fishburne (William), both of Charleston, South Carolina; great granddaughter, Ava Rose Theophilus, Longwood, Florida; step grandchildren, Robert J. Vittetoe, Laura R. Vittetoe, Knoxville, Tennessee, Sarah Lilly (Sherman), and Joby Hannah both of Clinton, Tennessee, and Ian Hannah, Sommamish, Washington, and three step great grandchildren, Hailey, Kasey, and Morgan Vittetoe. Visitation will be held from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Monday, October 22, at Berry Funeral Home, 3704 Chapman Highway. Graveside services will be held on Tuesday, October 23, at 11:00 a.m. at Woodlawn Cemetery, 4500 Woodlawn Pike. The family wishes to express their appreciation to Covenant Hospice and Tennova Residential Hospice for their care and kindness. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Guiding Eyes for the Blind, 611 Granite Springs Rd., Yorktown Heights, New York, 10598, or the Young-Williams Animal Center, 3201 Division St., Knoxville.