COMARA - COMSAT Alumni & Retirees Association

James L. Benedum

June 20, 1951 - March 28, 2015
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James Benedum photo Mr. James L. Benedum, 63, of Lake Ridge, Bridgeport, WV, passed away on Saturday, March 28, 2015 at his residence. He was born June 20, 1951, the son of the late John and Helen Currey Benedum.

Jim is survived by his wife Brenda Sheets Benedum. In February, they had celebrated forty-three years of marriage. He is also survived by three daughters Jaimie Benedum-Scott and her husband Walter of Charlottesville, VA, Courtney J. Benedum of Atlanta, GA and Kelsey J. Benedum of Dallas, TX; two grandsons Walt Gerald Scott IV and Myles Ray Scott; two brothers, John Benedum and his wife Bonnie of Charlotte, NC and William Benedum and his wife Audrey of Lititz, PA; a sister Sue Zaldivar and her husband George of Charleston, WV; a sister-in-law Kathy Holliday of Beckley, WV; nieces and nephews; Marc and Diana Zaldivar, Brian Benedum, Tyler and Christine Benedum, Abbey and Chris Moeller, Jessica Zaldivar, Martha and Paul Sharkey, Samantha and Brad McFarland, Alan and Jill Holliday and Michael Holliday; six grandnephews and five grandnieces. He was also preceded in death by his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Ray and Viola Sheets; a brother-in-law Alan J. Holliday and a grandniece Mary Sharkey.

He was a 1969 graduate of Bridgeport High School and a 1971 graduate of United Electronics Institute in Charleston, WV.

He retired from AT&T Etam Earth Station as a satellite technician. Originally, the company was formed by the United States Congress to provide satellite feed to countries around the world.

He was a veteran of the United States Air Force and served during the Vietnam War era.

Jim was an accomplished woodworker. He enjoyed making furniture, games, puzzles and numerous special pieces for his wife, daughters and grandsons. He was also an amateur blacksmith.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in Jim's memory to the V Foundation for Cancer Research, 106 Towerview Court, Cary, NC 27513 or People's Hospice, 327 Medical Park Drive, Bridgeport, WV 26330.

Friends will be received at the Ford Funeral Home, 215 East Main Street, Bridgeport, WV on Monday from 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM and 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM. The funeral service will be celebrated in the funeral home on Tuesday, March 31, 2015 at 11:00 AM with Reverend Leslie Benedum presiding.

The interment will be held in the Sunset Memorial Park, Beckley, WV at 3:00 PM. The Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Honor Guard will provide military rites at the cemetery. Condolences may be extended to the family at The Benedum family has entrusted the care and arrangements to the Ford Funeral Home, 215 East Main Street, Bridgeport, WV.

Ford Funeral Home Monday, March 30, 2015 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM and 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Funeral Service
Ford Funeral Home Tuesday, March 31, 2015 11:00 AM

Sunset Memorial Park Beckley, West Virginia Tuesday, March 31, 2015 3:00 PM

Thanks to Mike O'hara for providing this notice.

Jim Benedum a Comsat/ATT Etam Earth Station employee (not a member of COMARA) passed away the other day. Jim was one of the last three ex-Comsat folks employed by ATT as earth station technicians*. Tim Gerkin and Phil Britner are the other two with Phil being the actual last man standing. I coincidentally visited Etam the day that they received their pink slips. Here is Jim's obituary,

I stressed "Earth station tech" since, although Etam is closed, the building and antennas remain with one person in and out on an infrequent basis. Donna Keener, another ex- Comsat earth station tech, was reassigned by ATT a number of years ago to maintain fiber routes in that geographical area. Some of the fiber equipment is housed at Etam. Donna also uses the site as a shipping/receiving and admin location. Hard to imagine, that huge bomb proof structure with all of its history has come to this.